Institutional Affairs

  • Europa, abducted by Zeus, will figure on the new euro notes (Photo: cliff1066™)

New euro notes to show tragic princess

09.11.12 @ 09:58

  1. By Nikolaj Nielsen
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BRUSSELS - In Greek mythology, the Phoenician princess Europa was abducted and raped by the king of the gods, Zeus.

But her image will from next year appear alongside pictures of windows and doors on euro banknotes as a security and decorative feature.

"Portraits have long been used in banknotes around the world and research has shown that people tend to remember faces. Is there any better figure than Europa to serve as the new face of the euro?" the chief of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, said on Thursday (8 November) according to Bloomberg.

She will first appear on the €5 note in May, with other notes introduced in ascending order in the next few years.

Europa's face will be shown as a watermark and as a hologram. Until now, euro notes carried pictures of windows and doors in various architectural styles in a symbol of openness designed not to offend national sensibilities.

The new notes will also carry an emerald-coloured number.

The first series of banknotes will circulate alongside the old ones. But the old notes, first introduced 10 years ago, will eventually cease to be legal tender.

"The date when this occurs will be announced well in advance," the ECB said.

The old notes will retain their face value and will be exchangeable at any national central bank in the eurozone even when they are no longer valid in shops.

Meanwhile, counterfeiting euro notes has kept international law enforcement authorities busy.

In April, an international police sting in Bogota, Colombia dismantled a counterfeit print shop and depot manufacturing €50 and €100 bills.

Europol, the EU’s police agency, based in The Hague, said authorities seized over €19 million in counterfeit money in Columbia alone since 2006.

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