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Elgar removal from £20 note is disappointing, says leading expert

(29 June 2010)

Prof Jeremy Dibble

The removal of British composer, Sir Edward Elgar, from the £20 bank note is a sad day for the arts, according to a Durham University expert.

The comments follow the move to drop the face of the composer who created the unofficial national anthem, Land of Hope and Glory, from legal tender in Britain on June 30th, 2010.

The change means that the arts are no longer featured on any Bank of England notes.

Jeremy Dibble, Professor in the Department of Music, Durham University said:

"Land of Hope and Glory is one of the most stirring tunes ever composed and its composer, Edward Elgar, is an iconic figure and a fitting symbol of artistic inspiration in England.

"Dropping Elgar tells us much about the way in which the arts is now viewed in England. Bank notes should applaud the greatest aspects of England and English culture."

The latest change to the twenty pound note follows the phasing out of the William Shakespeare version in 1993.

Prof Jeremy Dibble added:

"The withdrawal of the Sir Edward Elgar £20 note is a national disgrace as the arts will no longer be visible on our notes.

"The removal of writing and music in the shape of Shakespeare and Elgar on Bank of England notes makes our currency much less colourful; science and economics are important but so too are the arts.

"Why is it that the public are never consulted on these matters that are intrinsic to our culture?"

The Elgar note has been replaced with a version depicting the 18th Century economist, Adam Smith.

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