UNESCO’s Executive Board decided in 1978 to create the International Simón Bolívar Prize to reward contributions to the freedom, independence and dignity of peoples and to the strengthening of solidarity among nations. Five years later, at a ceremony in Caracas, the prize was awarded for the first time to Nelson Mandela of South Africa and King Juan Carlos I of Spain. A medal was also minted to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of “The Liberator.” Born in Venezuela, Bolívar was a great defender of emancipation from colonialism, a standard-bearer of democratic independence and the liberator of his country, as well as Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Designed by the Venezuelan artist Héctor Poleo and engraved by Denis Chatelain, the medal’s obverse features a profile portrait of Bolívar while the reverse depicts a symbolic sun rising over a Latin America in the process of unification, with the dove of peace taking wing. Incribed in Spanish is one of his famous quotations, La educación es la base de la libertad. (Education is the foundation of freedom.)

Available in gold, silver and bronze


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