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20 Pounds 2001, Cyprus

in Krause book Number: 63b
Years of issue: 01.10.2001
Edition: 7 000 000
Signatures: Director: Afxentis Afxentiou
Serie: 1997 - 2001 Issue
Specimen of: 01.10.1997
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 164 х 80
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

20 Pounds 2001




Bust of Aphrodite.

Aphrodite (Ἀφροδίτη) is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus.

Dark, horizontal lines are centered.

The engraving for watermark is made after Aphrodite statue, I century BC (Marble). Held in Cyprus Museum, in Nicosia. (Please, see obverse description).


20 Pounds 2001

Aphrodite Aphrodite Aphrodite

The engraving is made from the marble statue of Aphrodite Kiprida from the town of Soli, I century BC, the work of Praxitel.

The ruins of the ancient city of Soli are in the territory of the so-called Turkish Republic of Cyprus (TRC), 17 km. south-west of the city of Morfou.

Soli was one of the 10 Cypriot city-states. Presumably, it was founded in the VII-VI century BC. Basically, what has survived to this day was built in the Roman period. It is an amphitheater, basilica, floor mosaics. During the Roman rule, the city flourished and occupied an important position. The city harbor was used for export of copper ore. By the IV century the copper mines were depleted, and in the 7th century the city was destroyed by the Arabs.

During the excavations in the royal palace, by Swedish archaeologists, on the top of the hill, a marble statue of Aphrodite Kiprida was found, which was made in the first century BC. Now the statue is one of the most valuable exhibits of the Museum of Cyprus in Nicosia (Aphrodite I century BC (Marble), Cyprus Museum Nicosia)

Praxiteles (Πραξιτέλης) of Athens, the son of Cephisodotus the Elder, was the most renowned of the Attic sculptors of the IV century BC. He was the first to sculpt the nude female form in a life-size statue. While no indubitably attributable sculpture by Praxiteles is extant, numerous copies of his works have survived; several authors, including Pliny the Elder, wrote of his works; and coins engraved with silhouettes of his various famous statuary types from the period still exist.

A supposed relationship between Praxiteles and his beautiful model, the Thespian courtesan Phryne, has inspired speculation and interpretation in works of art ranging from painting (Gérôme) to comic opera (Saint-Saëns) to shadow play (Donnay).

Some writers have maintained that there were two sculptors of the name Praxiteles. One was a contemporary of Pheidias, and the other his more celebrated grandson. Though the repetition of the same name in every other generation is common in Greece, there is no certain evidence for either position.

On top is the coat of arms of Cyprus.

coat Cyprus

The coat of arms of the Republic of Cyprus depicts a dove carrying an olive branch (a well-known symbol of peace) over “1960”, the year of Cypriot independence from British rule. The background is a copper-yellow colour; this symbolizes the large deposits of copper ore on Cyprus (chiefly in the form of chalcopyrite, which is yellow in colour). The arms is not violating the rule of tincture, since the dove is not argent (silver) but blazoned as of the colour proper, i.e. it has the colour it would have in nature, in this case white.

The name of the bank in Greek and Turkish languages.

Denominations in Greek and Turkish languages are centered.

Lower is the island of Cyprus - hologram map with many denominations 20 inside.


On right side is an ancient mosaic from the Cyprian ceramic products "Bird with a fish" (on a banknote only the bird is visible).

mosaic mosaic

It was discovered during excavations in the city of Paphos, Cyprus.

Paphos (Greek: Πάφος; Turkish: Baf) is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos, today at Kouklia, and New Paphos.

According to mythology, Paphos is the birthplace of the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite. The apostle Paul preached in Paphos the word of God. In 51 BC. In the city lived a well-known orator Mark Tullius Cicero, who was the proconsul of Cyprus. Pafos is included in the list of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of UNESCO. There is an international airport nearby.

Denominations in numerals are in lower left and top right corners. Centered in words.


20 Pounds 2001

On left side is, again, an ancient mosaic from the Cyprian ceramic products "Bird with a fish" (on a banknote only the bird is visible). It was discovered during excavations in the city of Paphos, Cyprus.

Girne Girne

On foreground is the Phoenician merchant vessel.

The Phoenician merchant ships began to be built not later than the second millennium BC. In that era, the ships of Crete, Mycenae and Egypt remained the masters of the Mediterranean Sea. But their dominance was already slipping into decline: the Phoenician fleet persevered in the first place. On the frescoes of one of the Egyptian tombs in 1500 BC. E. A Phoenician merchant ship is depicted, very similar to the Egyptian merchant ships of that era. There is no keel yet, the frames, too, nevertheless, it was a seaworthy vessel. In the middle of it stands a mast carrying a rectangular sail fixed on the upper and lower rims. It is impossible to understand if the ship had tightening ropes. Phoenician ships were built from cedar, these boards were longer than Egyptian and stronger. The nose is decorated with a carved wooden horse's head, the stern is carved with the fish's tail. The vessel is small: at that time they sailed only in the daytime, and for the night they pulled ships ashore. The Phoenician merchant ship, dating from 1250 BC. E., Was excavated in 1959 near Cape Helidoni (Gulf of Antalya on the coast of Turkey). It has a length of 10 meters. Remains of it are now stored in the archaeological museum of Bodrum in Turkey.

Girne Girne Girne

The sea expansion of the Phoenicians began in the XII century BC. E. The Phoenicians began to equip their ships with frames and keel for the first time in the history of navigation. They built three types of vessels: small coastal, larger commercial - for long voyages and, since IX BC. - The military. The sizes of merchant ships gradually increased, and their shape became more and more streamlined. Their length reached 30 meters, the width - up to 10 meters, and the sediment was 2 meters. No rowing chassis was used, the oars were used exclusively for maneuvering in ports and in river mouths, as well as in windless conditions. Vessels carrying valuable cargoes were equipped with a deck with a guard rail.

Girne Girne

In one sarcophagus in Sidon, a relief image of a vessel with two rectangular sails is found - one on the mainmast with a mars at the top, the other on an inclined focal point. The second sail is smaller than the first. This second sail was also put by the Romans, discovering that it increases the maneuverability of the vessel and allows you to go forward with the side wind.


On background is Petra tou Romiou (Πέτρα του Ρωμιού) and the Saracen Rock.

Petra tou Romiou (Rock of the "Roman") (that is East Roman or Byzantine as Byzantines referred to themselves as either Greeks or Romans until the 1820s), also known as Aphrodite's Rock, is a sea stack in Pafos, Cyprus. It is located off the shore along the main road from Pafos to Limassol. The combination of the beauty of the area and its status in mythology as the birthplace of Aphrodite makes it a popular tourist location.

The sea in this region is generally rough, persuading tourists not to swim there. It is not permitted to climb the rock. A restaurant, a tourist pavilion and the Aphrodite Hills resort are nearby.

According to one legend, this rock is the site of the birth of the goddess Aphrodite, perhaps owing to the foaming waters around the rock fragments, and for this reason it is known as Aphrodite's Rock. Gaia (Mother Earth) asked one of her sons, Cronus, to mutilate his father, Uranus (Sky). Cronus cut off Uranus' testicles and threw them into the sea. Similarly the local version indicates that Aphrodite’s Rock is a part of the lower body of Cronus! This legend says that Cronus ambushed his father and cut him below the waist with a scythe. Uranus as he tried to escape flying, lost parts of his truncated body and testicles into the sea. A white foam appeared from which a maiden arose, the waves first taking her to Kythera and then bringing her to Cyprus. The maiden, named Aphrodite, went to the assembly of gods from Cyprus. The Romans widely referred to her as Venus. Aphrodite attracted a large cult following in Pafos, which was eventually crushed by the Romans. This is evident from the Sanctuary of Aphrodite in Old Pafos, Kouklia. A local myth is that any person who swims around the Aphrodite Rock will be blessed with eternal beauty.

Another legend associates the name Achni with the nearby beach, and attributes this to it being a site where the Achaeans came ashore on their return from Troy.


The present name Petra tou Romiou (Rock of the Roman) associates the place with the exploits of the hero Basil as told in the Digenes Akritas. Basil was half-Byzantine (East Roman or Romios) and half-Arabic, hence the name Digenes (two-blood). Legend tells that the Christian Basil hurled the huge rock from the Troodos Mountains to keep off the invading Saracens. A nearby rock is similarly known as the Saracen Rock.


In lower right corner are 2 Ancient Greek, large amphorae. They are from the Greek ship of Kyrenia discovered by Andreas Kariolou, in 1967, in Kyrenia.

Kyrenia (Greek: Κερύνεια locally; Turkish: Girne) is a city on the northern coast of Cyprus, noted for its historic harbour and castle. It is under the de facto control of Northern Cyprus.

Girne Girne Girne

While there is evidence showing that Kyrenia has been populated since ca. 5800–3000 BC, it is traditionally accepted that the city was founded by Achaeans from the Peloponnese after the Trojan War. As the town grew prosperous, the Romans established the foundations of its castle in the I century AD. Kyrenia grew in importance after the IX century due to the safety offered by the castle, and played a pivotal role under the Lusignan rule as the city never capitulated. The castle has been most recently modified by the Venetians in the XV century, but the city surrendered to the Ottoman Empire in 1571.

Denomination in words is in lower center. In numerals are in top left and right corners, also in lower left.


obverse obverse

Obverse and reverse of 20 Pounds banknote never issued in circulation.

Increased security.

The British introduced the pound sterling unit to Cyprus in 1879 at a rate of one to 180 Turkish piastres. It remained equal in value to the pound sterling until 1972 and was initially divided into 20 shillings (σελίνι / σελίνια, şilin). The shilling was divided into 9 piastres (γρόσι / γρόσια, kuruş), thus establishing a nomenclature link to the previous currency. The piastre was itself divided into 40 para (like the kuruş). The para denomination did not appear on any coins or banknotes but was used on postage stamps.

In 1955, Cyprus decimalized with 1000 mils (μιλς, mil) to the pound. Colloquially, the 5 mil coin was known as a "piastre" (not an exact equivalence) and the 50 mil coin as a "shilling" (an exact equivalence). The subdivision was changed to 100 cents (σεντ, sent) to the pound on 3 October 1983. At that time, the smallest coin still in circulation was that of 5 mils. This was renamed as ½ cent, but soon was abolished. Mil-denominated coins are no longer legal tender.