This year we commemorate two important dates linked to Karel Kryl. On 3 March we mark the 20th anniversary of his premature death and on 12 April we mark the 70th anniversary of his birth. On the occasion of the important birth anniversary, Czech Mint issues a special edition of a gold and a silver commemorative medal.
The silver medal Karel Kryl pays tribute to the anniversary of the birth of this unique Czech singer and songwriter, poet, journalist and graphic artist. His cultural and humanistic legacy should live forever in our hearts and this medal is to become an immortal reminder of Kryl. The coinage and design of the commemorative medal were personally approved by Maria Magdalena Kryl, the artist’s widow.
With regard to the historically low prices of investment silver over the past years, while showing significant growth potential, the purchase of artistically processed silver is an excellent way to invest your money. The medal is issued in a limited edition of 1,000 pieces.
Karel Kryl was born on 12 April 1944 in Kroměříž. He was one of the prominent leaders of the so-called Czech political protest song. This “poet with a guitar” wrote all lyrics of his famous pamphlet-like songs and longer poetic compositions.
His grandparents ran a printing business, but the family printing shop was closed by the communist regime in the 1950s. Karel first wanted to become a potter, but poetry and music began to fully occupy him. His first song, A Blind Girl, came out in 1968. His first album with the title song Close the Gate, Little Brother, which he wrote as an immediate response to the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact troops, was released in the same year. In 1969 he emigrated to Germany and settled in Munich. He worked in Radio Free Europe, first as a freelancer and later as an employee. His following albums (except for Monologues) were released in exile.
Karel Kryl returned briefly to his homeland in 1989 to attend his mother’s funeral. The initial euphoria sparked by the Velvet Revolution soon faded and in 1990 his first post-revolution critical song was released, titled The Velvet Spring, to be followed by the album Monologues and poems titled Democracy, Timur and His Gang and others.
Karel Kryl died on 3 March 1994 in Munich, following a massive heart attack. His legacy is enormous, both quantitatively and, notably, spiritually. He received a number of awards and honours posthumously, such as a Charles University silver commemorative medal for his contribution to the nation’s spiritual development and moral support (1994), the František Kriegl award (1995), a Czech GRAMMY (Hall of Fame - 1995). On 28 October 1995 President Václav Havel awarded him posthumously the Medal of Merit II. class.
Czech Mint joins the ranks of those honouring the prominent figure of Czech modern history by a special edition of commemorative medals on 12 April 2014. The medal features a characteristic artful design by the renowned academic sculptor Zbyněk Fojtů. On the obverse side he portrayed the songwriter with his unmistakable wry smile, while on the reverse he used the shape of a guitar created from the words of Kryl’s songs and a motif of barbed wire cut open.
The silver medal Karel Kryl will enrich your collection with an imprint of another great spirit of the Czech nation.