1952 Geneva European Cultural Centre Gold Medallion
1952 (MCMLII), Swiss gold medal, European Cultural Centre Geneva (CENTRE EUROPEEN DE LA CULTURE GENEVE), Charles V holy Roman Emperor.
An Intriguing Medal
Normally, we can work out what most medals and medallions were issued for, they are often self explanatory. This one leaves us slightly puzzled. Let's start with what we do know:-
A Roman style portrait of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, wearing a radiate style crown, the legend reads:
CAROLUS V ROM IMP
There is a makers mark HF for Huguenin Freres of Le Locle Switzerland, the fitted box describes them as "Medailleurs".
A three-tongued flame atop the inscription:
GR. 29.03 OR FIN
What We Don't Know
We do not understand the connection between Charles V, 1500 - 1558, Holy Roman Emperor from 1519 to 1556 (or 1558), and Geneva.
We also don't know who issued the medals, and why. An organisation called the EAEA, the European Association for Education of Adults, appear to have held a meeting in 1952 at Geneva:
It was the "Centre Européen de la Culture" established in 1949 in Geneva, that under the directorship of Denis de Rougemont, developed the idea of having a number of "Foyers de Culture" throughout Europe in and through which European Culture in its diversity and unity could be experienced and spread. Or, as it was expressed in a paper resulting from a meeting in Brussels on March 15, 1952, a Foyer de Culture, on European level should contribute, particularly for young adults, to finding a new set of values in a world that has lost its sense of "culture" and of "community" (note sur le secrétariat Européen des Foyers de Culture 24 Avril 1952).
Whether this was the forerunner of the "European Capital of Culture" award designated annually since 1985 to qualifying European Cities, we also do not know.
The nett gold content shown on the medal is a rather precise figure, and we have assumed it is composed of .900 gold, although our calculations produce a slightly different figure from that claimed on the medal, on this assumption.
There is probably more we do not know about this medal than we do know, but it remains an interesting historical piece.
There are a few light scratches on the reverse, together with a few greasy fingerprints, otherwise it is about uncirculated condition.
1952 Geneva European Centre of Culture - Charles V Holy Roman Emperor||I.M.19||39.5||32.15||.9000||0.9303
Notes on Table
Diameter = Diameter in millimetres.
Weight = Weight in grams.
Alloy = Fineness of gold (estimated).
AGW = Actual weight of fine gold content in troy ounces (our estimate).
Geneva European Centre Of Culture
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Charles V Holy Roman Emperor on Obverse of 1952 Geneva European Cultural Centre Gold Medal
Gold Medals Index
Reverse of 1952 Geneva European Cultural Centre Gold Medal