Czech Mint’s untraditional steel commemorative medal is dedicated to Ivan Martin Jirous, more frequently known under the nickname “Magor“.
Ivan Martin Jirous – MAGOR (a Nutcase) – was a Czech poet, best known for being the artistic director of the Czech psychedelic rock group The Plastic People of the Universe and later one of the organizers of the Czech underground during the communist regime. Trained as an art historian, Jirous was unable to work as such in the then Czechoslovakia and became a member of the dissident subculture.
The steel medal was designed by Josef Frühauf, a talented graduate of the School of Art and Design in Jablonec nad Nisou. The Jirous medal is not flat but cylindric in shape and totally differs from standard medals. Very plain indeed, it features on one side three numbers: 202, which represent Section 202 (Disorderly Conduct) of the Czechoslovak Penal Code. Under the communist régime Jirous was sentenced to 8 and a half years in prison under this Section. On the other side of the medal we can read number 2391944 representing the date of his birth (23 September 1944), and number 10112011 which stands for the day on which “Magor“ no longer lived. Just like Jirous, the medal is not what it seems to be at first sight - a tender soul of an artist and poet is hidden inside a rough case. However, to bring to light this inner beauty one must use rough force…
The medal is issued in a very limited edition of 44 pieces.