15 euro - 150th anniversary of the birth of Konstantin Konik
On 12 December Eesti Pank will release a silver collector coin to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Konstantin Konik. Konik was an Estonian statesman, doctor and leader in civil society. He was the third member alongside Konstantin Päts and Jüri Vilms of the Estonian Salvation Committee that proclaimed the Republic of Estonia on 24 February 1918. Konstantin Konik was born in Tartu in 1873 and graduated from the faulty of medicine of the University of Tartu. After graduating he worked as a doctor, and during the Russo-Japanese war he worked in a hospital of the Odesa Red Cross in Trans-Baikal. When he returned to his homeland, he trained further at a clinic in Tartu specialising in wounds, and qualified as a doctor. He also engaged in politics in Tartu, and he became one of the leading lights of Jaan Tõnisson’s Progress Party. Konstantin Konik moved to Tallinn at the start of 1909, where he quickly became one of the most important figures of the national movement. He played an active role as a member of the Estonian Salvation Committee in proclaiming the Republic of Estonia and in reading out the declaration of independence on 24 February 1918. After being imprisoned during the German occupation, Konik continued his efforts for the independence of Estonia, and during the War of Independence, he fought the spread of infectious diseases and helped in hospitals for the wounded. In independent Estonia, Konstantin Konik focused mainly on his medical work, but he remained in politics. He was a member of the Constituent Assembly and then of the Riigikogu from 1932, where he was Minister of Education and Social Affairs in the fourth government of Jaan Tõnisson. His main focus though was on the independence of the medical community in Estonia and he was the first Estonian to become a surgeon and served for a long time as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, making him a prominent leader in the development of the Estonian medical profession. The silver collector coin dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Konstantin Konik has a nominal value of 15 euros and sells for 54 euros including VAT. Three thousand of the coins have been minted. The coin shows a portrait of Konstantin Konik, depicting the statesman with a blue, black and white flag. The coin was designed by Kaili-Lotta Juhkam, who studied graphic design at the Estonian Academy of Arts and works as a freelance designer, illustrator and artist. The coins were minted by the Lithuanian mint.