Object of the month

There’s a cow in the museum!

After all the banknotes and coins on display at the National Bank of Belgium’s Temporary Museum, in the fifth room a large cow makes a sudden appearance. But just what is this animal doing here?

Draw me a banknote!

Nowadays, it is the design that makes up the best part of our paper money. But what exactly is hidden behind the design of banknotes? On the basis of what criteria were artists or graphic designers selected and what did their work involve? Let’s try and find some answers to these questions in this Object of the Month…

Bye-bye litas, hello euro!

On 1 January 2015, it will be exactly 13 years since the euro became our official currency. For Lithuania, it will be first day. The last of the three Baltic states will be joining the euro area at the beginning of next year, making it the 19th member country.

Invisible women: portrayal of women on Belgian banknotes

Thinking of the Belgian franc, one would most probably remember a banknote bearing the portrait of Magritte or Mercator. These historic characters acted as ambassadors for Belgium. Women were never in the running when it came to selecting people to feature on Belgian banknotes.

Coin production through the ages: casting, and manual or mechanical hammering

Coins gradually came into use for everyday transactions from 700 BC onwards. Nowadays, we cannot imagine being without them. They are recognised as a means of payment in virtually all cultures. This month we are therefore putting the “Spotlight” on coin production.

Out of the attic and into the museum – showcasing our collections

Following the Museum’s temporary move to boulevard de Berlaimont, the decision was taken to showcase certain items from the collection that fit best into the new museum space or which had simply not yet been shown to the public.

Speculative fever

Tulip mania is a subject that has always intrigued economists. Was it a speculative bubble? Was it the first such bubble? Be that as it may, this speculative crisis has generated much discussion.

Alexander the Great: between god and man

According to historian N.G.L. Hammond, no individual changed the history of civilisation more than Alexander the Great. Yet, Alexander as a person is still a topic of discussion: was he a military genius or rather a murderous conqueror? High time, therefore, to put this deified general and his coins ‘in the spotlight’.

Five pigs? One drum, please!

The National Bank Museum has two drums in its collection. Acquired from South-East Asia, the objects were regarded by some indigenous communities as the most highly valued means of payment.

Marcel Van Goethem: the National Bank’s 20th century Beyaert

As you maybe already know, a new museum will shortly be opening its doors on the boulevard de Berlaimont. February’s Spotlight/Object of the Month is therefore being dedicated to the building that will house it and to the work of its architect, Marcel Van Goethem.