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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

328) Evita or Eva Peron (07.05.1919-26.07.1952): An Argentinean Commemorative 100 Peso Banknote issued on her in 2012:

328) Evita or Eva Peron (07.05.1919-26.07.1952): An Argentinean Commemorative 100 Peso Banknote issued on her in 2012:

Maria Eva Duarte de Peron or Eva Peron (07.05.1919-26.07.1952):

On 07.05.1919, Evita or Eva was born at Los Toldos, Argentina as the youngest of five children and was the illegitimate daughter of a rancher.

In the 1930s, at the age of 16, she went to Buenos Aires to pursue her dream of becoming a film star, where she had some success as an actress. She found work with a number of theatre companies.

In 1937, she got her first film role in “Segundos Afuera” (meaning “Seconds Out”) and got a job on one of the radio stations where she remained employed while continuing to work in stage productions. At the age of 20, she even started her own entertainment company – “The Company of the Theatre of the Air” which produced radio programmes.

In 1943, she had one of her greatest successes when she got a contract to portray a number of famous women in history on a special radio series, in which she performed the roles of women like Queen Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great.

In the same year, she met Colonel Juan Peron, the Secretary of Labour and Social Welfare during a charity event to benefit the victims of an earthquake in San Juan, Argentina. Juan Peron harboured ambitions to become the President of Argentina with the support of Argentinean workers.

She began a relationship with Juan Peron and was instrumental in canvassing for him and helping him win popular support. His popularity led to his arrest in 1945, but Evita helped to organise a mass demonstration which ultimately led to his release.

In 1946, Juan Peron stood for the Presidential elections and Evita was an active campaigner canvassing support for him, which was unusual in Argentinean politics as politics in Argentina in those days was entirely male preserve.

She directly appealed to the down-trodden and worst-off groups in Argentina, claiming to understand their plight and promising them a better future.

Peron was elected and Evita became a legendary figure in Argentine politics, continuing to play an active role in politics and government administration. She kept her promise to the working classes and took such an interest in their welfare that she became the de facto Secretary of Labour – supporting higher wages and greater social welfare benefits. She became powerful within the pro-Peronist Trade Unions primarily for speaking up for labour rights.

She also maintained a high public profile, visiting factories and hospitals and holding meetings with those she was trying to help. She was highly active in health policy, supervising programmes to eradicate some of the most crippling diseases including tuberculosis, malaria and leprosy.

 She used her position as the First Lady of Argentina to fight for women’s suffrage and improving the lives of the poor.

In 1947, she set up the Maria Eva Duarte De Peron Welfare Foundation, which distributed money, food and medicines to those who needed them the most. The money came from “contributions”, not always willingly given by Businesses and Unions. As a result, she was very popular with the masses but not so with the elite.

She further alienated the elite with her active campaign for female suffrage. A Suffrage for Women Bill was enacted in 1947, largely due to her efforts made in the campaign. She even founded the first large-scale female political party, the “Female Peronist Party”.

In 1951, she announced that she would be standing for Vice-President in the forthcoming elections on the same ticket as Peron.

Her candidacy was strongly opposed by the military and the bourgeoisie, and coupled with her bad health caused her to decline the nomination.

She made her last public appearance in June 1952 at her husband’s second term inauguration.

Shortly before her death, she was given the title “Spiritual Leader of the Nation” by the Argentine Congress.

On 26.07.1952, she died from cancer at 32 years of age.

Public grief was intense and unprecedented in Argentina and she was given a funeral fit for a Head of State.

Her Legacy:

Since her death, Evita has continued to fascinate people around the world. The story of a poor girl who rose to become a prominent political figure has inspired countless books, films and plays.

 A Book “Santa Evita” which narrates her romance with Peron prior to their 1945 marriage and her connection with the masses among other recollections has been translated into 30 languages.

 A Broadway musical “Evita” (1979) was based on her life, while Madonna played Peron in the film version (1996) with Antonio Banderas portraying Che Guevara.

On 26.07.2002, the 50th Anniversary of her death, a museum was opened called “Museo Evita” created by her great niece, Cristina Alvarez Rodriquez, which houses many of Eva’s clothes, portraits and artistic renderings of her life. Cristina acknowledged that women of her generation owe a debt to Eva for “her example of passion and combativeness”.

 While Eva’s precise role in Argentinean politics is still a matter of debate, there is little doubt that she was a remarkable woman who made her mark on Argentina’s history.

She once voiced her fears thus “My biggest fear in life is to be forgotten”.

Indeed, she has been not!!

The 100 Peso Banknote issued to Commemorate Maria Eva Duarte de Peron:

A 100 Peso Banknote was issued in 2012 to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the death of Eva Peron. It is the first time that a new design was introduced on an Argentinean Banknote featuring a woman.

 The Back of the 100 Pesos Banknote depicting a profile of Eva Peron
On the Back of the 100 Pesos Banknote is depicted a portrait of Maria Eva Duarte de Peron facing left.

The name of the issuing Bank “BANCO CENTRAL DE LA REPUBLICA ARGENTINA” is mentioned along with a quote of Eva Peron: “Como mujer siento en el alma la calida ternura del pueblo de donde vine y a quien me debo” (meaning “As a woman I feel in my soul the warm tenderness of the people where I came from and to whom I owe”).

Depicted on the Banknote is a profile shot of Evita Peron, ( the wife of Juan Peron, who was President from 1946 to 1955 and then again for nine months prior to his death in 1974).
 The Front of the 100 Pesos Banknote depicting an image from the Ara Pacis Augustae
On the Front of the 100 Pesos Banknote is depicted Ara Pacis Augustae (meaning “Altar of Augustan Peace”) popularly referred to as “Ara Pacis”.

The watermark on this Banknote is that of Maria Eva Duarte de Peron and her initials. In the 5 mm wide Picture thread Eva’s image alternates with the initials “BRCA” (BANCO CENTRAL DE LA REPUBLICA ARGENTINA).

This Banknote was issued on 20.09.2012 as a Commemorative Banknote.

Circulation Banknote:

Although originally designed as a Commemorative Banknote it was also released as the new 100 Pesos circulating Banknote in 2013,  replacing the earlier 100 Pesos Banknote featuring depicting a portrait of the 19th century President Julio Argentino Roca.

Ara Pacis:
          The front of the reassembled altar of Ara Pacis
This is an altar dedicated to the Roman goddess of Peace.

 The monument was commissioned by the Roman Senate on 04.07.13 BC to honour the return of Augustus Caesar to Rome after three years in Hispania and Gaul.

The Monument was consecrated on 30.01.09 BC. It stood in the “pomerium” on the west side of the Campus Martius, the flood plain of the Tiber River and gradually got buried under 4 metres of silt deposits. It was excavated and reassembled at its current location in 1938.

A side view of the Ara Pacis showing the Tellus Panel to the left and Roma Panel to the right
 The image on this Banknote is that of a mother attending to her children taken from the “Roma Panel” of the Ara Pacis Augustae.

An earlier design which was envisaged to be released as a 5 Peso Banknote after her death in 1952 has inspired the 100 Peso banknote design:

Her portrait on the 100 Peso banknote is based on the design of a 5 Peso Banknote which had been planned to be released following her death in 1952.

The 5 Pesos Banknote was not issued due to a military coup that deposed Juan Domingo Peron.

 Juan Peron was forced to flee to Spain in exile, before returning 18 years later. The subsequent regime too set about eliminating all signs of Peronism including the destruction of any images associated with Juan and Eva Peron. To avoid the loss of the Banknote designs, a “S.E. Casa de Moneda, Argentina” (CMA) employee hid them and they remained hidden and forgotten for over five and a half decades.

In 2006, when some furniture was removed for renovations to the building, the original sepia-tinted artwork, hand-painted by the artist Garrasi were discovered. This artwork provided the inspiration for the 21st century version of the 100 Peso Banknote design.

This Banknote was designed by Roger Pfund together with designers from CMA and is based on the earlier work of Renato Garrasi and printed by S.E. Casa de Moneda, Argentina (CMA). The portrait was engraved by Sergio Pilosio.

On 10.07.2013, at the Latin American High Security Printing (HSP) Conference, the inaugural award of Latin American Banknote of the Year 2013 was won by this 100 Pesos Banknote.

The Latin American Banknote Award has been introduced by HSP to recognise Banknote design developments and achievements in the Latin American Region. The selection criteria are based on design visibility, Banknote functionalities, security sophistication and thematic relevance.

The citation at the presentation complimented this brightly coloured Commemorative Banknote which features “world-class” intaglio portrait of Eva Peron, the integrated use of security elements as well as the rich heritage perceived through the Banknote which readily identified with the population.

The Banknote, apart from intaglio printing contains a watermark, an optically variable feature and a security thread.

The circulating Banknote features the numeral 100 in Spark with a green  to blue colour shift and rolling bar effect, see-through register, watermark and a 5 mm wide Picture Thread with Eva Peron’s image.

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