Get the best of Monitor journalism in your inbox.

When dictators fall, so do their banknotes

When dictatorships crumble, the currencies commemorating their leaders are often hastily replaced. The following now defunct or possibly soon-to-be defunct banknotes are imbued with the symbols and iconography of their strongman leaders, past and present.

1. Libyan dinar

Pictured: one-dinar note, acquired in Benghazi in 2011

Even as eastern Libyans rose up in droves, they continued using currency bearing the faces of two former leaders – one they loathed and one they loved. A young, svelte Muammar Qadaffi smiled out from the ubiquitous one-dinar note, while celebrated anti-colonial resistance leader Omar al-Mukhtar graced the 10-dinar note.

Mr. Mukhtar, a celebrated early 20th century anti-colonial resistance leader who was executed by Italian authorities in 1931, became a symbol of the Libyan rebellion in the eastern Libyan state of Cyrenaica. As of this writing, Libyans continue to use the Qaddafi-era currency, although Libyan authorities report the distribution of a new currency, which won't feature Qaddafi, is imminent.

1 of 6
of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.