The ancient Greek drachma is long gone, replaced by the euro that critics said has helped create the country’s economic crisis, but the old notes still have a warm place in the heart of The Greek designer and artist Pavlos Vatikiotis, who created six designs on the notes and posted them on the Internet.
These banknotes are not decorated with national heroes and fighters of the Greek Revolution of 1821 as it used to be. Instead, Vatikiotis have used the faces of important personalities of Greek culture, art and science, as Elytis, Castoriadis, Mercouri, Moralis and Kallas.
“I started to design these banknotes for fun but in the end I took it seriously! I believe that the banknote should be beautiful because a country is reflected on it. It may be the most representative example of a people’s aesthetic. Same with all the public documents, the passports, the identities,” he said.
He added: “In Greece, that was never the case because not a single graphic artist was seriously interested in it. Even the tax documents are so ugly designed that they become difficult in use and understanding,” noted the designer. He finished: “I don’t know if we will ever return to drachma, but if that is going to happen I would love to have beautiful banknotes in my pocket!”
Over the last few years there were fears that if the economy collapsed that Greece would have no choice but to return to the drachma although speculation has lessened with more international loans starting to pour in.