Titled "100 years: Litas, Lats, Kroon", it was created in close cooperation between museums in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and draws attention to the similarities and differences in the monetary history of all three countries.
The exhibition has already been shown in Vilnius, and now it has made its way to Riga, where it will be on display at the Latvian National History Museum from March 4 to May 28 before moving on to Tallinn for the summer.
The exhibition traces the national currencies of the three Baltic states in two stages of history. The story begins with the beginning of the 20th century and evidence of what money was valid in each country before the introduction of national currencies. Then we can learn how national currencies were created, where and how money was produced, how each country chose the name and design of its currency.
According to Anda Ozoliņa, head of the Numismatic Department of the History Museum, money also reflects the mentality of the people, and this can be well appreciated at the stand where all three national currencies created 100 years ago are displayed next to each other.
"Here you can see their monetary systems. Here is the lats system: bank marks and cash register marks. Here are Lithuanian ones. As we can see, the design is visually a bit similar to the tradition of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Also, of course, there is a characteristic appeal to their heroic past. Because they did not found the country, they restored it. To the times of Poland and Lithuania looking back, they have more ancient rulers and battles. We completely lack such aspects. And Estonia, on the other hand, has a very Finnish-style money, restrainedly Nordic in its visual design, to some extent influenced by Art Nouveau."