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The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 38, September 20, 2015, Article 24

THE VIMY MEMORIAL ON THE NEW CANADIAN $20 BILL

Last week I asked about the monument on the back of the new Canadian $20 bill. Jon Radel forwarded this article from Time magazine, noting "It appears that many Canadians haven't heard of it either...." -Editor

2015 Bank of Canada commemorative $20 note back

What do you get when you put topless women and an image that looks like the Twin Towers on a Canadian $20 dollar bill? A lot of controversy.

The newly redesigned $20 bill was unveiled by the Bank of Canada in Ottawa last week, according to the Daily Mail. The revamped bill — the most counterfeited Canadian tender in circulation — is manufactured from a high-tech polymer and boasts a difficult-to-copy design that’s supposed to make it much more difficult to produce.

If only someone had taken a closer look at what the new design actually was. While it features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II (Canada is a commonwealth country, don’t forget), it also carries a reproduction of the National Vimy Memorial. There are a couple problems here: for one thing, the Vimy Memorial, created to honor Canadian servicemembers who lost their lives during World War I, is not the most recognizable of national symbols. “I’ve never seen this monument, ever,” said one Vancouver participant in a Bank of Canada focus group on the bill.

For another, it also happens to be in France: the memorial rises 120 feet over the Douai Plain, near the battlefields where more than 7,000 Canadian soldiers lost their lives.

But the biggest problem may be that the Vimy’s double-columned design, draped with semi-clad classical figures, manages to evoke both the ill-fated Twin Towers of New York City and softcore porn. “When you quickly glance at it, and if I didn’t know any better, it looks like the Twin Towers,” one focus group participant said, according to documents from Toronto market research firm The Strategic Council obtained by Canadian broadcaster CTV News. Critics called special attention to the figures draped revealingly across the top of the monument, meant to represent Justice and Peace. “It’s too pornographic,” a cash handler in Toronto told researchers. “What is the woman on the top holding?”

To read the complete article, see:
Dirty Money: Is Canada’s New $20 Bill ‘Pornographic’? (http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/05/11/dirty-money-is-canadas-new-20-bill-pornographic/)

For more information on the Memorial, see:
Canadian National Vimy Memorial : Introduction (www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/overseas/first-world-war/france/vimy/Introduction)

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
BANK OF CANADA ISSUES ELIZABETH COMMEMORATIVE (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v18n37a28.html)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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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@gmail.com

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