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UK Chooses Kenyan-Born Artist to Design New Currency

A kenyan-born  artist,Michael  Armitage, will have the distinguished  honour  to design  the new British Pound coin which will enter circulation  in the United Kingdom  in 2023

This was announced by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, during a Royal College of Art reception held on Tuesday, May 10.


The British Minister pointed out that Armitage’s new design would mark the historic UK culture over the years.“I am delighted that Michael will lend his vision to the creation of this new £1 coin design in its 40th anniversary year.

“This coin will symbolise the rich tapestry of modern Britain and honour our deep heritage and history,” Sunak stated.


Feeling ecstatic about the opportunity, Armitage noted that he will be part of history as one of the artists to design the British currency.

“It is an honour to be part of the lineage of coin-making in the United Kingdom and I am grateful to the Chancellor and the selection panel for the opportunity to contribute to this history in considering what it is to be part of Great Britain today,” the artist noted.

Chief Executive of the Royal Mint, Anne Jessopp, who will work in collaboration with Armitage noted that the coin is a hallmark symbol recognised around the world. “As such, we are delighted to work with Michael Armitage to create a new design that celebrates the people of Britain and our diverse culture. It is the first new One Pound design since 2017 and will combine our 1,100 years of craftsmanship with cutting-edge design to champion modern Britain,” she stated.

The artist was born in Nairobi in 1984 and has been combining the skills acquired in both London and Nairobi in his work.

During a past interview, he revealed that he draws his creativity from memories from both Western and East African heritages.


“He has a firm belief that art is an agent of social change and through his captivating figurative style, he compels the viewer to take a deeper look at the content his art addresses,” reads an excerpt from his profile on the international site, Artuner. 

In 2019, the artist made headlines when one of his paintings was sold for over Ksh150 million at an auction in Britain.

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