“Three topless women and the Twin Towers”: Canadians baffled by picture of WWI memorial on their new $20 dollar billBanknote shows the Vimy Memorial – a statue in France representing the bravery and sacrifice of Canadian soldiers in the First World WarConcern from focus groups during 5-year consultation over design
Canadians have been left confused over the country”s new $20-dollar bill which some have said appeared to feature three naked woman and the World Trade Center towers.
The government was rolling out the new banknote as part of an upgrade of the monetary system. It actually features the Vimy Memorial in northern France, the largest monument overseas for Canadian soldiers lost the First World War.
However many Canadians believed the bill showed the Twin Towers and three topless women along with the head of state, Queen Elizabeth II.
O Canada! The new $20 banknote was said to be “too pornographic” by some focus groups because it featured the naked figures representing Justice, Peace and Hope on the WWI memorial in France (right)
Money matters: Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney (left) and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty display the new Canadian $20 dollar bills made of polymer
The Vimy Memorial, a nationalist symbol of bravery and sacrifice, was seen on the $20 when it was unveiled by the Bank of Canada in Ottawa last week.
Focus groups, typically made up of a wide-range of citizens from different generations, had examined the note before it was made public.
According to Upi.com, one focus group member said: “It”s too pornographic. What is the woman on the top holding”
Several reports made public after the five-year consultation period noted this concern along with others under the headline “potential controversies”.
Shocked: An excerpt from a focus group report during the five-year consultation period for Canada”s new $20 which called the design “too pornographic”
Some participants in the focus groups were unaware of the wartime memorial honoring thousands of Canadian servicemen, in particular forgotten soldiers with unmarked graves.
Symbol: The figures on the statue represent justice and peace – the latter with the torch upraised
Several said the drawing reminded them of the Twin Towers, destroyed in the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
“I wonder if the monument here could conjure up memories of 9/11 or the Twin Towers,” one person in Toronto said.
In fact, the two columns of the Vimy Memorial symbolise the unity of France and Canada – represented by a maple leaf and fleur-de-lis.
The group of women at the top of the statue are known as the Chorus. The most senior figures represent Justice and Peace – the latter with a torch upraised.
The figures of Hope, Charity, Honour and Faith are located below Justice and Peace. Truth and Knowledge are positioned on the Western side.
The new $20 bill is due to come into circulation in November and has a high-tech polymer design. The note is currently the most counterfeited in circulation, accounting for more than half the bills in exchange.
Thenew method of manufacturing the $20 should make the note more difficultto reproduce, authorities said and last twice as long as paper notes.
Nationalist symbol: The Vimy Memorial in northern France pays tribute to Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War
Money talks: The 2004 version of a Canadian $20 bill with its image of Queen Elizabeth II