Peru: Know Your Currency – Part Two
Day 005 – July 27, 2011
Following up on my previous post regarding Peruvian currency, here’s a look at two other bills.
Below is a picture of the obverse and reverse of Peru’s 20 soles note…
The stately gentleman pictured on the obverse of this piece of currency is Raúl Porras Barrenechea (1897 – 1960). The Wikipedia entry that I link to above describes him as a historian, diplomat, and politician.
Señor Porras wrote Pizarro, a history book about the Spanish conquistador, which was published after Porras’s death. Other works by this gentleman include Los Cronistas del Perú (1962) and El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1616) (1946) The Wikipedia link lists all of his works.
In addition, Señor Porras was a Senator from Lima and served as the Minister of Foreign Relations, akin to the United States Secretary of State.
It is Porras’s job as the head diplomat that lets one understand why Peru’s monetary designers placed the building they did on the reverse of the 20 soles bill. This edifice is Palacio de Torre Tagle and it is the current home of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A historian, a diplomat, and a politician, eh? I can’t think of one American who fits that triple threat of public service. If you know of anyone from the past of present that actually has this resume, please let me know. While I know that the current Secretary of State is 2-for-3 on the above score, I don’t think she has written a book of history. Then again, Raúl Porras Barrenechea never won a Grammy.
Multiplying Señor Porras by 5 takes us to the 100 soles note, where we find this stoic gentleman and impressive building…
Pictured on this bill is Jorge Basadre Grohmann (1903 – 1980). Wikipedia describes him as…
…a Peruvian historian known for his extensive publications about the independent history of his country. He served during two different administrations as Minister of Education and was also director of the Peruvian National Library.
Just like the 20 soles note above, Señor Basadre’s position of director of the Peruvian National Library explains the building on the reverse. It is the Biblioteca Nacional, the national library of Peru.
So to recap from the four bills that I have talked about both earlier and now (the 10, 20, 50, and 100), three of them (the 20, 50, and 100) have pictures on them of men who are famous for their ability to write. Do you get the feeling that this country of Peru is rather proud of those people who can wield a pen artfully?
I’ll finish off with a picture I alluded to in my previous posting about the 10 soles bill as I found an image of an older note with the upside-down plane. Enjoy.
Rumor (and Wikipedia) has it that there is a 200 soles bill. When I find one, I’ll let you know.