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The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 8, February 21, 2010, Article 23

THE BANKNOTE MUSEUM OF GREECE

Here's an article describing the banknote museum of Greece. Sounds like a great destination for numismatists touring the country. -Editor

Banknotes Museum of Corfu Greece The Ionian island of Corfu, home of the mythical Phaiakes, or Phaeacians, one of a race of people inhabiting the island of Scheria (identified with present-day Corfu) visited by Odysseus on his way home from the Trojan War, is home to the Banknote Museum of Greece, the only one of its kind in Greece and one of the very few in the world, with a comprehensive and continuously expanding collection.

The Banknotes Museum is housed on the first floor of the preserved building that was the first branch of the Ionian Bank (now Alpha Bank) in Corfu, and showcases a near-complete collection of Greek banknotes, from the very first ones circulated in 1822 to the last ones withdrawn in 2002 with the advent of the euro, sketches, essays and printing plates for various Greek banknotes, archive material (documents, accounting books, checks, photographs relating to the history of the Ionian Bank), and a complete series of the last issues of the national banknotes by the euro-zone member states before their replacement by the single currency, the euro, as well as a reproduction of the modern manufacturing process of banknotes. The collection numbers more than 2,000 items.

The Banknotes Museum contains historical material pertaining to the history of the Ionian Bank and a complete series of the last issues of the national banknotes of the eurozone states prior to replacement by the euro. The manufacturing process of banknotes is included among the exhibits as well as the method of adding a watermark, while a workshop details the metal plate engraving process.

The Banknotes Museum's collection is considered one of the most complete of its kind in the world, and includes the first treasury bonds issued by the newly-liberated Greek State in 1822 up until the replacement of the national currency, the drachma, by the euro in 2002.

The exhibits include some rare specimens of Greek currency, including the 1860 "colonata".

One of the rarest banknotes on exhibit is one depicting the Byzantine church of Aghia Sophia in Constantinople, designed in 1920, without the Ottoman minarets, but it was never circulated since the Asia Minor disaster occurred only a few years later.

Also on display are the first banknotes issued by the first Governor of Greece Ioannis Kapodistrias, featuring a rose colored phoenix on a white background, while the collection also contains the pre-Kapodistrias treasury bonds issued by the provisional Greek government in "grossia" (or pisters).

With the establishment of the National Bank of Greece in 1841, the ancient drachma once again became the official currency of Greece. On display are the first banknotes printed by the British printing houses Perkins Bacon and Bradbury Wilkins, followed by the American Banknote Company that succeeded the British at the turn of the century, which printed Greek banknotes up to about 1982, when the Bank of Greece undertook the printing of the country's currency.

To read the complete article, see: Banknotes Museum of Corfu: A sojourn through Greece's economic history (www.ana.gr/anaweb/user/showplain?maindoc
=8380929&maindocimg=7918831&service=144)

THE BOOK BAZARRE

David F. Fanning Numismatic Literature has posted its first 2010 fixed price catalogue, featuring many sale items at reduced prices, on Web site at www.fanningbooks.com or email Fanning at dfanning@columbus.rr.com .


Wayne Homren, Editor

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