Exhibition “The Ionian Bank and its Privilege of Issue”
The exhibition “The Ionian Bank and its Privilege of Issue (1839-1920)” refers to a period in the history of Ionian Bank when its note-issuing privilege played a decisive role in its operations. Rare exhibits from the Alpha Bank Historical Archives are presented.
The first bank in modern Greece
The exhibition “The Ionian Bank and its Privilege of Issue (1839-1920)” is held on the 150-year anniversary from the unification of the Ionian Islands with Greece.
It aims at highlighting the history of the note-issuing privilege of the Ionian Bank. It was the first bank to operate in Greece. In 2000 it merged with Alpha Credit Bank to form Alpha Bank.
The decisive role of the note-issuing privilege
The exhibition presents a period in the history of Ionian Bank (1839-1920), when its course was intertwined with the destiny of the Ionian Islands.
During the same period, the exclusive issuing right held by the bank played a determining role in its operations. At the same time, it played a part in financing the economy of the Ionian Islands.
Since 1920, when the privilege was definitively revoked, Ionian Bank operated as a purely commercial bank. Nonetheless, the bank continued to support the economy of the Ionian Islands.
Contents of the exhibition
Rare material from the Alpha Bank Historical Archives is showcased in the exhibition (documents, securities, accounting book volumes, photographs, memorabilia). The exhibition is complemented by material exhibited at the Banknote Museum, such as banknotes circulated by Ionian Bank as the issuing Bank of the Ionian Islands.
Moreover, visitors have the opportunity to see items generously on loan from other historical archives, institutes and libraries in Greece and abroad.
For the purposes of the exhibition, part of the records of the Ionian Bank held at the collection of the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics was also used.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue in Greek and English. The catalogue The Ionian Bank and its Privilege of Issue (1839-1920), edited by Kostas Kostis, is divided into 6 sections:
- First efforts.
Each section is accompanied by rich illustrations and based on a part of the rare items (documents, securities, accounting book volumes, photographs, memorabilia) held by the Alpha Bank Historical Archives, as well as on exhibits from the Banknote Museum.
A video documentary
A short bilingual documentary was produced for the purposes of the exhibition. It was an internal production by the Alpha Bank Historical Archives, with an original score and rare material from the Historical Archive Collections. The documentary also features footage on loan from third-party organisations in Greece and abroad.
Find out more about the exhibition “The Ionian Bank and its Privilege of Issue” in the relevant Alpha Bank Press Releases: