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Czech Bank Issues Updated 2,000 Koruna
By Kerry Rodgers
August 27, 2007

At the beginning of 2007 the Czech National Bank launched a new version of its CZK 2,000 bank note. The new note is of the same dimensions and use the same design by Oldrich Kulhánek seen in the earlier 1996 and 1999 versions. However, the note's security features have been considerably enhanced.

While many of the existing anti-counterfeiting devices have been retained, new ones include:

• A new wider, shiny metallic, protective security strip in which negative microtext indicates not only the nominal value but the abbreviation "CNB." The color of the strip changes from green to puce depending on the angle at which light falls on it.

• When held to the light the number "2000" is visible next to the existing watermark that shows a full face portrait of Ema Destinnová.

• When tilted the number "2000" appears as on a ribbon to the left of the image of Ema Destinnová on the note's face.

Overall, the colors used for the new version react far more strongly to ultraviolet (black light) than do the earlier versions.

Full details of these security features can be found in information pamphlets on the CNB Web site. Try

Ema Destinnová who has figured on th face of the Czech CZK 2,000 note since 1996 was a renowned operatic soprano. Born in 1878 in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, she debuted at age 18 in the Dresden Opera singing in Cavelleria Rusticana. Her virtuosity was such that she was immediately signed-up by the Berlin Court Opera.

In 1904 she appeared for the first time at the Met in New York and in following years frequently starred there with Caruso under the direction of Toscanini. She excelled in Carmen.

She returned to her homeland following the outbreak of World War I, but her links with the patriotic Czech resistance led to the revoking of her passport and her being held under house arrest for the remainder of the war. She died in 1930 a true Czech patriot.

The 1996 and 1999 versions of her note will remain legal tender.

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