New £20 note design has been disclosed by Bank of England

Bank of England unveils new £20 note design featuring JMW Turner Bank of England
Bank of England unveils new £20 note design featuring JMW Turner Bank of England

The Bank of England has unveiled the design of a new £20 featuring the artist JMW Turner and his painting The Fighting Temeraire that will enter into circulation in 2020.

The artist was chosen from more than 29,000 nominees covering almost 600 eligible characters sent in by the public as part of a newly transparent process for selecting figures to appear on the notes.

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said he was delighted Turner was the final choice.

“Turner is perhaps the single most influential British artist of all time. His work was transformative, bridging the classical and modern worlds. His influence spanned his lifetime and is still apparent today. Turner bequeathed this painting to the nation, an example of his important contribution to British society,” Carney said.

Tracey Emin, who was also present at the announcement at the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate, said she was especially pleased that Turner was the final choice because “he loved Margate”.

“It’s so amazing that an artist has been chosen for the £20 note and an artist who was a wild maverick. It’s wonderful that Britain’s creative side is being honoured in this way,” she said.

The note will feature Turner’s self-portrait, painted in 1799 and currently on display at the Tate Britain. One of his most eminent paintings, The Fighting Temeraire, features in the background. The HMS Temeraire played a role in Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

The note also features a quote, “light and therefore colour”, which comes from an 1818 lecture by Turner referring to his use of light, shade, tone and colour.

Turner’s signature appears on the note from the signature on his will.

The new note will be printed on polymer, alongside new polymer £5 and £10 notes to enter into circulation in the near future.

A new £1 to the round pound coin has gone into production at the Royal Mint ahead of its introduction in circulation in 2017.

It is said to be the most secure coin in the world.

The design features, including its 12-sided shape, make it a lot harder to copy than the round pound.

The 12-sided shape is in the same style as the 50p and 20p coins, but it had to go through many tests to make sure it would still roll in vending machines.

Still every vending machine and parking machine in the country will have to be updated to accept the new coin over the course of years.

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