Switzerland's next 100-franc note to depict a really old, still operating irrigation canal

One of the central elements will be the Bisse d’Ayant, built in 1442
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 07/30/16
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When the Swiss National Bank announced the design for the 100-franc note that will come out in four years, it came as a big surprise to some for whom it matters most. The bank decided that one of the central elements will be the Bisse d’Ayant, one of the largest irrigation canals in the southern canton of Valais. 

The Bisse was built in 1442 and still supplies the area with irrigation water.

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The surprise was for the local government and citizens of Ayent. They had no idea. According to multiple reports in the Swiss media after the announcement, when the National Bank was contemplating the design, they approached the town to sign a confidentiality agreement. The town’s representatives did so, but could only speculate on the reason. When the decision was announced July 21, the president of Ayent, Aymon Marco, said it was like “winning the lottery without having played.” 

A spokesperson for the bank said that the landscape offered by the Bisse of Ayent, with its wood and the rock wall on which it hangs, perfectly matched the theme “water and humanitarian tradition” chosen by the Swiss bank for the note. In addition to the wood structure of the Bisses, elements on the blue 70- by 144-millimeter note will include an open hand, and a globe.

The theme of the 50-franc note introduced a few months ago was the wind. Other denominations will focus on time, light, matter, and language.

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