Ukraine recognizes poet on new 500-hryvnia note
By Arthur L. Friedberg , Special to Coin World, Published: Jan 18, 2023, 9 AM
Putin’s war has not put a stop to the National Bank of Ukraine’s issue program. On Dec. 29, the bank introduced a 500-hryvnia commemorative bank note (with an exchange value of $3.60 U.S.) dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the birth of the philosopher-poet Hryhorii Skovoroda. It has a print run of 50,000 pieces, of which 30,000 are in souvenir packaging.
The commemorative bank note appears at first to be identical in appearance to the old 500-hryvnias “Skovoroda” bank note that was first issued in 2016, but a special drawing is added with the script “The World of Skovoroda” that changes color when the angle of the bank note is tilted.
The main image on the face of the note is a portrait of Skovoroda. The Mohyla Academy building of the National University of Kyiv is on the back. The note measures 75 by 154 millimeters.
Oleksandr Tkachenko, minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, told the Odessa Journal, “The celebration of the 300th anniversary of the great Ukrainian thinker Hryhorii Skovoroda is the year’s event in the field of culture. It was included in the calendar of commemorative dates of UNESCO. The philosopher is known as a composer, singer, translator, teacher, and artist not only in our country. Today, for Ukrainians, Hryhorii Skovoroda is a harbinger of freedom, which we are fighting for today for the entire civilized world.”
The national bank characterized Skovoroda’s work as relevant through the ages, inspiring many generations into action. He said the main thing in life was a sense of freedom. In his poem “De Libertate” (About Freedom) he wrote, “What is freedom? What good is there in it? Isn’t it like gold, they say? Certainly not, it’s not gold: compared to freedom, gold is just a swamp. Oh, if only I didn’t make a fool of myself, I wouldn’t live a day without freedom...” Today, the National Bank of Ukraine says, “The entire world is witnessing what Ukrainians can do to protect their freedom and can see the unbearably high price they are paying for it!”
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