David Bowie, who passed away on Jan. 10, has been portrayed on a £10
note issued for local use in Brixton, England, since 2011. With the
Bank of England scheduled to issue a new £20 note by 2020, a movement
is afoot to replace the portrait of Scottish political economist Adam
Smith with that of the late rock legend.
Bank of England officials, however, have already stated that Bowie
would not appear on the note, according to a Newsweek article dated
A decision on the design of the new note is expected to be made by
the Bank of England’s governor in the spring. He will choose from
among the more than 29,000 nominations of 590 nonliving visual artists
submitted to the bank by the public. As Bowie was alive during the
nomination period that closed July 19, he could not be considered.
However, within a week after his death more than 36,000 signatures
were added to a petition sent to Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of
England, calling for Bowie’s image on the new issue.
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The petition is on the website Change.org and reads: “We can think
of no better way to honour David Bowie ... than by depicting him on
the forthcoming £20 note. His music has sound-tracked important events
in the lives of many of us. His visual art and sense of character
brought a new combination of music, performance and imagery into
mainstream culture. A 2002 poll of ‘100 Greatest Britons’ voted for by
the public listed Bowie as number 29 which demonstrates how celebrated
and familiar he is to British people.”
The petition went on to say that Bowie’s innovation and art included
painting as well as his better known music and acting careers and he
now meets the Bank of England’s criteria for consideration.