British Museum to explore history of communist currency

Aug. 17, 2017

“In a society where money isn’t supposed to exist, what do people value, and how is that communicated?”

At a time of growing interest in cryptocurrency as a store of value and constant questions about the future of fiat money, that’s a question that deserves further exploration.

Which is just what the British Museum will be encouraging with an exhibition coming this fall, “The Currency of Communism.”

As described on the Art Fund website:

Bringing together strikingly designed banknotes and coins with posters, advertising and other documents from socialist and post-socialist governed countries, new exhibition The Currency of Communism also explores the ‘shadow economy’ that typically takes root when a national currency is devalued — and where commodities like vodka, glassware and Western goods become powerful objects of trade.

The exhibition runs from Oct. 19 through March 18 at the British Museum. Items on display include civilian medals and honors, which became one of several substitutes for monetary reward under the Communist system.

In addition to highlighting political messages, many of the banknotes boast stunning designs, the description of the exhibit said.

photo istock

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