If you happen to spend a weekend in Cagnes-sur-Mer, don’t forget to change your euros into Renoirs. That’s right, this coastal French town has recently launched a new currency. Renoirs named after a French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, can now be exchanged against euros.
Where does this idea come from and who benefits from it?
Renoir adored his time on the Côte d’Azur and spent the last years of his life in a villa in Cagne-sur-Mer. That building is now home to the Renoir Museum.
This initiative aims at making local shops more attractive to its citizens. If you do your shopping in Renoirs, you get a 10% discount. The exchange rate of a traditional euro against this new currency is of 10:11. It is also not easy to produce fake bills as they bear watermarks.
This is how the shopkeepers decided to revive their market and encourage citizens to buy from the local producers and farmers rather than from supermarkets. More than 60 shops are involved in this project across the city. Businessmen are now showing a great interest in this program and are willing to trade in new banknotes.
How can you know where you can pay in Renoirs?
Every shop involved in this project bears a sign “Ici bienvenu aux Renoir” meaning that Renoirs are welcome here. But do bear in mind that only stores that have signed a special contract can deal in Renoirs.
About 30 French cities have already welcomed the idea of their own currency. Rumour has it that the French capital is also preparing to issue local notes. A special group “Une monnaie pour Paris” has been created to this purpose. Its representatives believe that the distrust in euro is growing. The initiators of the project are willing to organize a public hearing where they will suggest various names for their future currency. The negotiations with Parisian businessmen are scheduled for the month of November.