The Eesti Pank travelling exhibition has moved to the summer capital
The travelling exhibition dedicated to the centenary of Eesti Pank will be open on the second floor of the Port Artur2 shopping centre at Lai 11 in Pärnu from this week. The exhibition uses contrasting examples to tell the story in simple terms of the changes over a century in the purchasing power of the people of Estonia, how money moves between people, and the role of the central bank in society.
The exhibition is designed in the form of the buildings of the central bank, showing the historical buildings where Eesti Pank started operations a century ago and still works today. “Historical exhibitions usually take a chronological approach, but we focus more on the interesting contrasts between the central bank and the Estonian economy now and a century ago”, said Siiri Ries, the curator of the Eesti Pank museum.
One of the main goals of the work of the central bank has always been to maintain the purchasing power of money. The exhibition shows what it was possible to buy with the average wage in the 1930s and today. Very many things have become much cheaper, but some have become more expensive because the prices of products or services depend on the number of hours of work that have gone on them, or the technology used. Cinema tickets are a good example, as now we cannot go to the cinema as often on the average wage as was possible in the 1930s.
It is the job of the central bank to organise the circulation of cash and to promote payment systems. A hundred years ago cash was mainly transported by the postal network, which in many places was conveniently linked to milk transport, so the milkman carried alongside the milk an envelope of cash and took it to the Post Office, from where it was sent onwards. Such cash deliveries could take a week or longer to arrive, while today we have instant payments that allow money to be transferred within 10 seconds any time of the day and any day of the week. Over 800,000 card payments, which were obviously completely unknown a hundred years ago, are now made every day in Estonia. People in Estonia pay by card four or five times as often as people in, say, Germany or Italy.
The Eesti Pank centenary exhibition will be at the Port Artur2 shopping centre until 15 August, after which it will move to the Tallinn Ülemiste shopping centre.
Earlier the exhibition has been in the Mustamäe keskus and Stroomi keskus in Tallinn.