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Ingmar Bergman to adorn new Swedish banknote

Published: 06 Apr 2011 10:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Apr 2011 11:38 GMT+02:00

Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman landed the honour of adorning the new 200 kronor note, while the hot favourite children's author Astrid Lindgren will be the new face on the 20 kronor note, replacing the popular Selma Lagerlöf.

Former United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld will feature on the 1,000 kronor note, opera singer Birgit Nilsson on the 500 kronor, film star Greta Garbo on the 100 kronor, and musician Evert Taube on the 50 kronor note.

"The General Council has chosen people who have made positive and important cultural impressions during the 1900s. We believe that the new designs reflect Swedish heritage and different parts of Sweden in a positive and representative way," said Johan Gernandt and Leif Pagrotsky, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the General Council in a statement.

The Riksbank announced that the King will remain the theme of all of Sweden's coins.

Johan Gernandt revealed that the Riksbank council has received around 600 different suggestions for possible designs for Sweden's new banknotes which will be introduced at the earliest in 2014/2015.

The criteria for the selection of the new faces of Sweden's currency were: a cultural personality active in the 20th century, popular with the people, internationally recognised and representing various parts of the country.

The announcement is the culmination of almost two year's work to decide on the design and form of the new notes and coins.

In May 2010 Sweden's Riksdag approved the Riksbank plan to introduce a new 200 kronor note and 2 kronor coin and since then speculation has been rife as to who would be given the honour of being featured.

A decision was also taken at the same time to preserve the 20 kronor note.

Gaming firms offered odds on a slew of Swedish celebrities, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, ABBA, Alfred Nobel, Björn Borg and Prince Daniel among others.

Astrid Lindgren had long been touted as the favourite for the 200 kronor note, but will instead replace the popular Selma Lagerlöf on the 20 kronor.

The faces of the various personalities will be embellished by landscape designs from their respective regions.

Dag Hammarskjöld, who served as head of the UN from 1953 until his death in 1961, is connected with Lapland in the far north of Sweden.

Birgit Nilsson, a celebrated dramatic soprano who died in 2005, was connected to Skåne in the far south of Sweden.

Ingmar Bergman, known for a vast body of work often dealing with bleakness and despair and who died in July 2007, was closely associated with the Baltic island of Gotland.

Greta Garbo was a major movie star in Hollywood's Golden Age. She died in 1990 and is buried in Stockholm, the city in which she grew up as Greta Lovisa Gustafsson.

Evert Taube is best known for his folk songs and one of Sweden's most widely respected musicians. While he grew up in Västergötland in western Sweden, he is closely associated with Bohuslän, further up the coast.

Astrid Lindgren, best known internationally for her character Pippi Longstocking, is meanwhile closely associated with Småland in southern Sweden.

The Riksbank furthermore outlined improvements to all of Sweden's notes and coins on Monday to address environmental and security concerns and to prevent falsification.

The colour scheme of the new notes will remain the same as those currently in circulation while the sizes will be amended to a consistent height of 66 millimetres, with varying lengths.

The new coins will be considerably lighter and the 1 and 5 kronor will lose their silver colouring.

Currently the sum of Swedish coins in circulation weigh in at 13,500 tonnes and if they were all to be replaced the weight would be more than halved to 6,500 tonnes.

The new notes and coins will be introduced in 2014/2015 and will gradually replace existing currency.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

11:17 April 6, 2011 by sushi_and_sweden
Cool news! Just adore Ingmar Bergman. (Greta Garbo on 100kr bill sounds like Charlize Theron on 20rand bill or Nicole Kidman on A$100 though. They are great people but I think their achievements are something different from Astrid Lindgren's and Ingmar Bergman's...)
12:37 April 6, 2011 by Strongbow
These people were active in the 20th century, not 19th.
13:19 April 6, 2011 by eltechno
Some truly excellent choices--esp. Dag Hammarskjöld and Ingmar Bergman.

Too bad the Riksbank couldn't do such a good job awarding the economic prize it named after Alfred Nobel--that list of fools has set back economic thinking by 100 years!
15:00 April 6, 2011 by Strongbow
I've been to Hammarskjölds grave and took a guided tour by a member of his foundation http://www.dhf.uu.se/ He is certainly a very underestimated person.

I'm sure there will be some sort of events on September 18 when it's 50 years since he died.
15:20 April 6, 2011 by Swedesmith
Wait for the new ABBA bills to come out.
15:53 April 6, 2011 by lordsandwich
What about scientists and engineers?
18:23 April 6, 2011 by Tanskalainen
What about the Swedish chef from the muppets????
18:58 April 6, 2011 by krattan
@lordsandwich

I agree. Nobel is certainly a candidate. Do we have any more suggestions for a prominent scientist or engineer active during the 20th century?
19:43 April 6, 2011 by ledax
This has GOT to be a joke... How can Nobel NOT be in that and those others made it ?!?
21:40 April 6, 2011 by Tanskalainen
A 500 SEK note with a portrait of Tiger Woods ex-wife holding a golf club would be most appropriate.
23:42 April 6, 2011 by Attestupa
The names seem to have been chosen with geographical distribution as a first priority. I would have thought however that Ingrid Bergmann would have been far preferable to Greta Garbo, who became a recluse in her mid-thirties. There are so many famous scientists to consider such as Ångström, Arrhenius, and Celsius, but popularity seems to have a priority over relative obscurity but significant worth.
04:01 April 7, 2011 by Swedesmith
@tans or a picture of Elin Woods holding standing over a big pile of 500K notes.
11:46 April 8, 2011 by johnny1939
I welcome them all on the new money w/ one exception, Evert Taube, he was an alcoholic who bit up his wife who had to move away from the abuse on several occasions.....he was a mean drunk and he does not deserve this recognition.
13:56 April 8, 2011 by tadchem
I recall Garbo's famous line "I vant to be a-loan." It takes on a new meaning with her face on a Riksbank note.
12:04 April 9, 2011 by ann68
I welcome new ideas, of course, argue about who could be added to the portrait of the money, I think this is not what we say. I congratulate the Swedish government on this decision.
04:58 April 10, 2011 by Alasdair MacCorquodale
@tadchem

that is very funny
09:57 April 13, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
@tadchem

Lol!

I would have thought Ingmar Bergman's face on Swedish currency is very appropriate as he will always be identified with Sweden
14:13 May 1, 2011 by jamesblish
To use only people from the 20th century was a conscious move by the Riksbank so they had to do this. I don't agree with it though, as I think we're too afraid to embrace our past anyway. Let's face it, the biggest icons are not from the 20th century. People like Linné, Celsius and Nobel need to be recognized. And Lindgren needs to make way for Almqvist. To name just a few examples. But this is the way they wanted it and they got it.
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