Argentina’s Central Bank will roll out a newly designed controversial 50-peso bill which features a map of the disputed Falkland Islands, also know as the Islas Malvinas in Argentina, a British overseas territory which Buenos Aires claims sovereignty over.
Argentine president Cristina Kirchner announced the creation of the newly designed 50-peso note last April during a ceremony marking the 32nd anniversary of the Falklands War with Britain which cost the lives of nearly 1,000 soldiers.
The reverse side of the new note features an image of Gaucho Antonio Rivero, the Argentinian rebel leader who led an 1833 uprising in an effort to reclaim the islands from the British. Rivero, today a folk hero in the South American nation, is depicted on horseback waving an Argentinian flag above his head.
The new banknote, which is worth around £3.70 ($4.20), is planned to enter into circulation next month.
President of Argentina’s Central Bank, Alejandro Vanoli, said the decision to launch the new note — under the slogan “Malvinas Islands. A sovereign love.” — aims at “incorporating a new element of daily use to the inalienable sovereignty demand over the Malvinas Islands,“ according to the Buenos Aires Herald.
The Falkland Islands, or las Malvinas, have long been a cause of tension between Britain and Argentina. A British overseas territory since 1833, Argentina has always claimed the archipelago as its own after receiving it from Spain in the 1800’s.
In 1982, Argentina invaded the Falklands in an effort to reclaim the islands. Britain responded by sending its troops to defend its overseas territory and citizens in the conflict that began on April 2, 1982, and ended 74 days later with Argentina surrendering.
The Falklands War cost the lives of 255 British soldiers, 649 Argentine soldiers, and 3 civilians.
A sovereignty referendum was held in the Falkland Islands on 10–11 March 2013, which saw an overwhelming 99.8 percent of voters wanting to remain under British rule.
Argentine lawmakers later passed legislation in November 2014 that would bring punishment and possible prison sentences to anyone caught exploring the disputed continental shelf without its explicit permission.
The new Argentine banknote is expected to upset Britain and further sour relations between the two nations.