Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to welcome you all here today to the opening of the “New Face of the Euro” exhibition.
First I would like to thank the Board and staff of the City Hall of The Hague for providing us with this lovely venue for this event and De Nederlandsche Bank for its efforts and close cooperation in making this exhibition possible.
The New Face of the Euro exhibition provides an opportunity to learn more about the banknotes and coins which we have been using for more than ten years now. It also explains more about the euro and Europe. Banknotes are not only a means of payment; they are also pieces of craftsmanship, reflecting the values of the nations that issue them. The euro banknotes are illustrated with windows, symbolising the openness and transparency upon which the EU is built, and bridges, symbolising cooperation and the links between European countries that make them stronger together. These are values that are shared by all 334 million people who use the euro on a daily basis.
Let me come back to the title of this exhibition, which focuses on the new series of euro banknotes. As you will know, the new €5 banknote came into circulation in May 2013. It is the first denomination in the new series of euro banknotes. It shows the face of a woman, the Greek mythological figure of Princess Europa. One of the main reasons for introducing a new series of notes is to ensure that everyone can continue to use them with confidence and trust. That’s why we have drawn on a number of new technologies for enhanced security features, making the notes more resistant to counterfeiting.
The new €10 is the second note of the Europa series and is the highlight of the exhibition. You will be the first to see the real note before it officially comes into circulation on 23 September 2014. When you take a closer look at the note, you will see that it has the same features as the new five: a portrait of Princess Europa in both the hologram and the watermark, as well as the emerald number, which changes colour from green to deep blue when you tilt the note. In addition, the new banknotes have an innovative protective coating that makes them more durable than the current series. A similar protective coating was also used on the last series of guilder notes. Ensuring that the banknotes are better protected means that they will last longer and have less of an impact on the environment.
This exhibition offers a lot more information not only on the new euro banknotes but also on other topics, ranging from the history of money to the production of banknotes, as well as interactive games which are interesting for young and old.
During the last six years the exhibition has travelled to 18 locations within the European Union and attracted over 260,000 visitors. However, the Netherlands was still missing from the list. That is why, being Dutch myself, I am delighted that the exhibition has now come to the Netherlands, especially to such a nice and important building in the heart of The Hague, and I hope that in the future many more Dutch cities will follow.
Ladies and gentlemen, I sincerely hope that you will enjoy your visit to this exhibition. Allow me to now declare it open!
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