To mark the centenary of Victor Hugo’s death in 1985, The UNESCO Courier, then published in 32 languages, devoted an entire issue to the French writer, a salute to the man who was both a part of his century and of the future, who denounced the death penalty and fought for the rights of man and the oppressed.

A medal was also struck at the Paris Mint. Designed by the French artist Louisette-Jeanne Courroy, the obverse carries a portrait of Victor Hugo at the age of 50. The reverse shows a storm-swept tree and the inscription, C’est par la fraternité qu’on sauve la liberté (Fraternity is the saviour of liberty), a declaration made by Hugo when he returned to Paris from exile in 1870.

Available in gold, silver and bronze


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