Bank of England unveils new £20 note featuring painter William Turner | Fin24
 
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Bank of England unveils new £20 note featuring painter William Turner

Oct 11 2019 09:52
Lucy Meakin and Yuko Takeo

The Bank of England unveiled the new design of its £20 banknote honoring painter J.M.W. Turner.

“Light is therefore colour” was his famous saying, and it’s also an advanced level of security for the new bill.

The new polymer note will be the first to incorporate two windows and a two-color foil, making it the most secure cash yet, the BOE said as it displayed the design at an event in Margate, UK, on Thursday. The bill will also feature Turner’s most eminent painting, The Fighting Temeraire, a tribute to the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and an image of the Kent seaside town’s lighthouse.

“Our banknotes celebrate the UK’s heritage, salute its culture, and testify to the achievements of its most notable individuals,” BOE Governor Mark Carney said. “Turner’s contribution to art extends well beyond his favorite stretch of shoreline. The new 20 pound note celebrates Turner, his art and his legacy in all their radiant, colorful, evocative glory.”

The £20 note will be the third polymer note to be released by the BOE when it goes into circulation from February 20, 2020. The five-pound bill, featuring Winston Churchill, went into circulation in 2016, followed by the Jane Austen “tenner” a year later. The notes designs have rarely escaped controversy, with issues ranging from the use of tallow in their material to whether the image of Austen is too attractive.

A sample of the new twenty pound note featuring la

Turner was chosen after a two-month public nomination that resulted in 590 possible historical candidates from the field of visual arts. The BOE’s Banknote Character Advisory Committee, a panel of cultural experts led by Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent, produced a shortlist and Carney made the final choice. 

Joseph Mallord William Turner, an English Romanticist landscape painter who was born in 1775 and died in 1851, is regarded as one of the UK’s most important pre-20th Century artists. One of the few works by Turner held in a private collection sold for £30.3m in 2014, the first time the painting had come to market in more than 130 years and setting an auction record for the painter.

As Turner rarely signed his works, so the signature featured on the note is taken from his will. The bill will also contain tactile features to help the vision impaired.

bank of england  |  economy
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