Karl Marx ‘zero-euro’ bill becomes German souvenir hit with 100k sold

A cheeky ‘zero-euro’ bill, issued by a German tourism agency to commemorate the bicentenary of Karl Marx’s birth, has become a runaway success, with more than 100,000 wealth re-distributing purchases on record.

Printed by Trier Tourism and Marketing in honor of Marx’s 200th birthday, the original 5,000 ‘zero euro’ notes sold out in less than a month. In the weeks that followed, collectors and tourists alike have pounced on the souvenir bills, with over 100,000 purchases of the commemorative banknote –which sells for three euros– to date. Marx was born in Trier, a city in southwest Germany, on May 5th, 1818.

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Image of Karl Marx during a May Day rally organized by Front Line Socialist Party in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 1 2018.© Dinuka Liyanawatte

The faux bill – which features a portrait of Karl Marx – is slightly larger than a 20 euro note, and is made of the same security paper used by the European Union currency.

“The note is a sales champion,” Hans-Albert Becker, a representative from Trier Tourism and Marketing, told Germany news agency DPA. He added that the souvenirs have been shipped to more than 40 countries, from Australia to South America, but have seen particular success in Asia. Around 30,000 units have gone to China – likely due to the fact that the capitalist-critical philosopher is revered by the country’s ruling Communist Party.

The highly-coveted bill has “all the characteristics of a traditional banknote, including a watermark, holographic protection, tactile marks, effect visible under UV-light, etc.,” French entrepreneur Richard Faille, who originally conceived of the ‘zero euro’ souvenir concept in 2015, told Sputnik France.

Despite the banknote’s popularity, there’s still plenty in stock – although there’s a five-bill minimum if ordered online.

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