Kudos to the good folks at Criterion for pointing out that Sweden’s new krona banknotes are entering circulation this month. First announced in 2011 and unveiled a year later, the re-designed currency features Swedish cultural icons, with the newly introduced 200-krona note bearing the likeness of director Ingmar Bergman and a behind-the-scenes shot of him working on The Seventh Seal.
We’re all for countries putting artists on their money, though there’s more than a tinge of belated apology to the new banknote, given Bergman’s history with the Swedish financial authorities. In 1976, the director was arrested on suspicion of tax evasion, and though the charges—which were related to salaries paid to foreign actors—were very quickly dropped, the very public and humiliating arrest resulted in a nervous breakdown, and led Bergman to shut down all of his film projects and leave Sweden. Bergman lived in Germany until the mid-’80s, and Sweden’s internal revenue service—a fundamental part of a society built on one of the highest tax rates in the world—was saddled with a public relations nightmare.
But let’s let bygones be bygones. The new note, valued at around $23 at the current exchange rate, is part of a series that also includes Pippi Longstocking creator Astrid Lindgren (on the 20-krona note) and UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld (on the 1000-krona). Next year will see the introduction of a new 100-krona banknote featuring Greta Garbo. You can check them all out at the website of the Swedish National Bank.