110th anniversary of the birth of the Slovenian writer Boris Pahor

Boris Pahor, a writer, journalist, and teacher of Slovenian and Italian literature, was born on 26 August 1913 in Trieste, which at that time was part of Austria-Hungary. He went to the Slovenian primary school in Trieste and continued his education at the Italian Catholic Seminary in Koper, from where he graduated in 1935. He went on to study theology, but left the programme after three years.

In 1940, he was drafted into Mussolini's army, serving as an interpreter at a camp for captured Yugoslav officers and at the same time enrolling in the Italian literature programme at the University of Padua, where he earned his PhD in 1947. After returning to Trieste in the autumn of 1943, he joined the Yugoslav Liberation Front, only to be arrested a few months later by the Slovenian Home Guard, which handed him over to the Gestapo, who sent him to a series of concentration camps. Pahor’s experience in the camps clearly marked his prose, most notably in his 1967 autobiographical novel Nekropola (Necropolis), which was reprinted several times, but only obtained wider European recognition in 1990, when it was translated into French.

From 1953 to 1975, he taught Italian literature at the Slovenian secondary school in Trieste. In 1966 he founded the magazine Zaliv (The Bay), which he published with the help of his wife, and which, until its final issue in 1990, also served as a platform for polemic articles by Slovenian dissidents. Together with Alojz Rebula, he published an interview with Edvard Kocbek n 1975. It was in this interview that Kocbek spoke for the first time about the post-war extra-judicial killings of the Home Guard members on the Kočevje Rog Plateau. Because of this Pahor was banned from entering Yugoslavia for several years. He only crossed its borders again in 1981 to attend Kocbek's funeral. Eight years later, his memories of Kocbek appeared in his book Ta ocean, strašno odprt (This Ocean, So Terribly Open), which was published in Slovenia by the Slovenian Society (Slovenska matica).

Pahor died on 30 May 2022 at his home in Contovello near Trieste, at the age of 108.

The Republic of Slovenia is issuing commemorative coins to mark the 110th anniversary of Boris Pahor's birth. The text featured on the coins is taken from his story Stari svetilnik (The Old Lighthouse). The letters fade towards the right of the coins, turning into birds flying away. The birds symbolise freedom, while also illustrating the message that Pahor's books sent across the world through their numerous translations.




Gold coin Silver coin Bi-coloured collector coin Bi-coloured collector coin - proof - in plastic capsule
Nominal value: EUR 100
Weight: 7 g
Diameter: 24 mm
Purity: Au 900/1000
Issued: 750 coins
Nominal value: EUR 30
Weight: 15 g
Diameter: 32 mm
Purity: Ag 925/1000
Issued: 1,250 coins
Nominal value: EUR 3
Weight: 15 g
Diameter: 32 mm
Alloy: centre Cu Ni / ring Cu Zn Ni
Issued: 60,000 coins
Nominal value: EUR 3
Weight: 15 g
Diameter: 32 mm
Alloy: core Cu Ni / ring Cu Zn Ni
Issued: 1,250 coins
Issue date: 19. 9. 2023 Issue date: 19. 9. 2023 Issue date: 19. 9. 2023 Issue date: 19. 9. 2023

Event proposed by: Matej Pok

Artwork designed by: Daniela Vidmar Podboj and Tomaž Podboj, Ljubljana

Minting: Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Italy

Decree on the volume of issue, components, denominations and main features of collector coins issued on the 110th anniversary of Boris Pahor's birth, Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 25/23. The list of Banka Slovenije's numismatic products and their availability as well as their price can be found at the following web page.