The Bank of England has called upon the general public to help decide which painter, sculptor or designer should become the face of the next 20 pound note and according to rumours, the late Alexander McQueen could be one of the front runners to appear on the note.
Governor Mark Carney announced the public consultation during a presentation at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Tuesday, which is currently housing the exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. "Banknotes are principal way the Bank of England engages with the British public. These sparse pieces of paper from the 17th century have developed over the years to become the small works of art that are in everyone's wallets. There are a wealth of individuals within the field of visual arts whose work shaped British though, innovation, leadership, values and society and who continue to inspire people today."
For their choice of visual artists of "historic significance," Carney encouraged the public to think further than "the most famous and the most obvious," reported the Guardian. The selection process for choosing new banknote characters is the first to consult the public and will include school visits and focus groups led by the Bank's chief cashier, Victoria Cleland. The UK public have two months to select their candidates, with the final decision being announced in spring 2016 and the new note entering circulation by 2020.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes has named filmmaker Richard Attenborough and satirical artist William Hogarth as early joint favourites with 4-1 each, followed by painter JMW Turner with 5-1 and Alexander McQueen with 8-1.