London: £20 banknote featuring artist Turner, enters circulation

A new British banknote featuring a self-portrait 19th century painter, J.M.W. Turner entered circulation on Thursday.

The £20 note the third to be made durable polymer material rather than paper, following the launch new £5 and £10 notes in 2016 and 2017.

“Moving the £20 note to polymer marks a major step forward in fight against counterfeiting,” the BoE’s chief cashier, Sarah John, said.

There are currently around 2 billion £20 paper notes in circulation in Britain, featuring the 18th century economist Adam Smith, and they will remain legal tender for now.

The BoE said it expected it would take two weeks before half machines in Britain were dispensing the new notes.

BoE Governor Mark Carney, was due to launch the banknote at ’s Tate Britain gallery on Thursday, said Turner was “arguably the single most influential British artist all time”.

Turner best known for his seascapes, which grew more abstract with age.

As well as his self-portrait, the new note features one of Turner’s most famous paintings, “The Fighting Temeraire”, which depicts the last journey of a ship that played a role in Britain’s naval victory over France in the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar.

A new polymer £50 note, featuring the 20th century mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, due to circulation next year. Reuters/NAN