beyond face value


RUKMINI DAHANUKAR is an independent researcher and founder partner at Nirmiti, her brand identity design firm. Money Talks is her proprietary research and passion project that she has presented at communication, history, politics and popular culture conferences in Greece, India, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In November 2022, she organised the conference “World Heritage on Banknotes-the next 50” at UNESCO, New Delhi and conceptualised and curated the first of its kind exhibition “Banking on World Heritage” at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi in July 2023 as part of India’s presidency of the G20 Summit with the support of the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India. She recently conceptualised, designed and curated the permanent Revenue Gallery at the Sonipath Museum in Haryana, India. Currently she is authoring a book on the art, design and symbolism of banknotes from around the world. She is based in Mumbai, India.

French banknotes from around the world exhume art, romanticism and flair; a combination that results in these beautiful banknote artworks, worth far beyond their face value. Banknotes have always attracted economic attention (for obvious reasons) and their rich socio-cultural, political, artistic and symbolic values have gone unnoticed during exchange. This presentation aims to address that banknotes are not merely mediums of exchange but mediums of communication In France, the French francs were replaced by the Euro almost 20 years ago. It is time to take a look at one of the most beautiful monetary galleries from around the world to appreciate the contribution of the real wealth and value of exchange.

The exhibition highlights the ‘Quintessentially French’ elements of French art and design that resonate across various genres and forms of national culture as can also be seen blatantly on its banknotes. It presents the French Republic in its continuing form circulating on the national sides of the French Euro Coins, the last peek into French nationalism on its money. France chose three designs to represent itself using strong symbols of the Republic that can be traced onto the earlier circulating notes of the nation as well as its overseas territories.