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PR stunt Sold! Four million coins to feature in exhibition

When counting eight million coins gets too much, just have a lie down


In October 2013, eight million five-centime coins were dumped on Parliament Square during the campaign for a basic income initiative. A year later the organisers have finally found a buyer for half of them.

Stapferhaus Lenzburg, a cultural institution based in canton Aargau, will pay CHF200,000 ($207,000) for four million coins. They will be used as part of a year-long exhibit titled “Money – beyond good and evil”, which begins on November 15.

The group Generation Basic Income originally took out a loan to pay for the coins. After the PR stunt they received inquiries from around 70 organisations around the world but were unable to find a buyer for the coins.

Spokesman Che Wagner confirmed the sale on Sunday. He said the group would have preferred to sell all eight million coins to the Stapferhaus, but they had already returned half to the Swiss National Bank.

Still for sale is a vault used during the stunt. The asking price: €3 million (CHF3.6 million). The seller is a member of the Generation Basic Income group, which is hoping to sell it to finance its vote campaign.

The basic income initiative is calling for the payment of an unconditional sum for all residents of Switzerland “that would allow the entire population to live with dignity and to  participate in public life”. The amount suggested by the organisers is CHF2,500 per month. and agencies

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