The Bank of Latvia recently issued a gold collectors coin dedicated to the Lestene Church, once one of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Latvia, as an appeal to the public for help in its restoration.
The coin, embellished with the words "Oh, Holy Lestene," features an angel's head and an acanthus leaf design, two elements of the church's altar.
The church was badly damaged during World War II, when in its spires were burnt down and its altar shelled in Feb. 1945. In the post-war period, it was further demolished, although some of the sculptures were salvaged by the artist Jurgis Skulme.
The Evangelical Lutheran parish of Lestene has been gradually repairing the structure since 2002, but it has not yet finished the restoration work, which is being financed through donations and small project funding.
The coin, which is legal tender in Latvia, will be on sale at the Bank of Latvia as well as other banks and souvenir shops. Each coin is valued at $97.00.
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