PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 4, January 22, 2006, Article 20

MUSEUM EXHIBITS GREEK BANKNOTES

"Before the euro came along, facilitating transactions
and symbolizing the idea of a unified Europe, a country’s
banknotes reflected the economy of the country while also
portraying its history and traditions. This multifaceted
aspect of European banknotes from the past is one of the
thoughts likely to occur to someone visiting the Banknote
Museum of the Ionian Bank of Corfu.

The museum, which opened to the public in a fully
renovated state a few months ago, traces the history of
the Greek drachma beginning from the first treasury bonds
of the newly liberated country in 1822 until the drachma’s
replacement by the euro in 2002."

"Displayed in chronological order, the collection in the
Banknote Museum includes some rare specimens in the history
of Greek banknotes.

The first banknotes were issued under the rule of Ioannis
Kapodistrias, the first governor of Greece in the newly
liberated country. They are rather plain banknotes showing
a phoenix and printed in a rose color on a white background.
Before Kapodistrias became governor and at a time when the
Greek economy was still at a rudimentary state, the provisional
government in Greece issued treasury bonds in pisters (or
grosia) to facilitate transactions."

"One of the rarest and most unusual Greek banknotes dates
from the period when the American Banknote Company was
printing Greece’s banknotes. A reflection of the “Megali
Idea” (the dream of reconquering Greece’s former territory
in Asia Minor), this Greek banknote depicts the Byzantine
church of Hagia Sofia in Constantinople, but without the
minarets. The banknote was designed in 1920, but by the time
it was ready for circulation several years later, the Asia
Minor disaster had already taken place. It was therefore
never used."

"The so-called “Kivernisi tou Vounou” (the provisional
mountain government) had its own banknote whose value was
measured against the kilos of wheat that it equaled. One
of the most unusual holdings of the Ionian Bank collection,
the banknote shows a guerrilla fighter on one side and lists
the conditions and terms of the mountain government on the
other.

Another unusual holding of the collection is 100-billion-drachma
banknote dating from 1944. This is the biggest face value that
a Greek banknote ever carried. After the period of hyper-inflation
ended, its value went down to 2 drachmas."

"The museum is located on Aghios Spyridonas Square in Corfu’s
main town. (Tel. 26610.41552; opening hours: Wednesdays-Sundays
8 a.m. - 3 p.m.; extended hours as of April 1.)"

To read the complete story, see: 
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster