Greek goddess graces five euro note.
It seems a bit of a cheek in the circumstances but the brand new five-euro banknote launched today bears the image of a Greek goddess. The image of the Greek goddess Europa is taken from a 2,000-year-old Greek vase in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The note will be used throughout the Eurozone and the image of Europa helps to symbolise the state of European integration, according to the blurb.
However, Europa was a Cretan moon goddess who was integrated into Greek myth as a virgin princess abducted by Zeus in the form of a white bull, raped and subsequently abandoned.
Given the anger at austerity measures imposed by Europe in the latest Greek bailout some Greeks could be forgiven for thinking that Greece herself has undergone a similar fate.
Euro bank officials claim the new notes are more difficult to counterfeit with lines on both edges and an emerald number 5, which turns a deep blue when the note is tilted. Europa's face also appears as a watermark and hologram.
Other euro notes are set to be reissued, the second series of euro banknotes to be issued since the euro's launch on January 1, 1999.
According to legend Europa and some female companions went off gathering flowers by the sea when they were spotted by Zeus. Some say that Eros, fired a dart at him and Zeus appeared as a gentle, white bull. When the maidens rushed to pet it, the bull laid down in front of Europa who sat on its back.
Instantly, the bull charged off, plunging into the sea, followed by Nereids riding dolphins, Triton blowing his horn, even the sea god Poseidon. Zeus told her he loved her and took her to the island of Crete, where the bull was worshipped and told Europe she would bear him many famous sons.