1. British-Indian Anish Kapoor’s artwork adorns new UK passport

British-Indian Anish Kapoor’s artwork adorns new UK passport

Britain's new passport design features the "inspirational works" of well-known British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor alongside cultural figures from the past 500 years such as William Shakespeare.

By: | Published: November 4, 2015 9:27 AM

Britain’s new passport design features the “inspirational works” of well-known British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor alongside cultural figures from the past 500 years such as William Shakespeare.

Mumbai-born 61-year-old Kapoor is well known for his ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture that was created for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The UK government is facing a sexism row over its decision to include just two women in a new hi-tech passport design which features iconic buildings and other historic landmarks of the country.

Architect Elizabeth Scott and computer programmer Ada Lovelace are the only women to feature, alongside seven men.

The others include John Constable, the painter;u00a0John Harrison, the inventor of the marine timekeeper;u00a0Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect; and Charles Babbage, the inventor besides Kapoor and Shakespeare.

Gormley’s work is represented along with Kapoor’s Marsyas, Temenos and the 2012 London Olympic Games symbol Orbit.

The UK government is facing a sexism row over its decision to include just two women in a new hi-tech passport design which features iconic buildings and other historic landmarks of the country.

Architect Elizabeth Scott and computer programmer Ada Lovelace are the only women to feature alongside seven men.

Shakespeare appears in a new high security watermark design on each page.

Mark Thomson, director general of HM Passport Office, said, “It was not something where we set out to have only two women. In trying to celebrate UK creativity over the last 500 years we tried to get a range of locations and a range of things around the country to celebrate our triumphs and icons over the years. So there you are.”

“Whenever we do these things there’s someone who wants their favourite rock band or icon in the book. We have 16 pages, a very finite space.

“We like to feel we have got a good representative view celebrating some of the icons of the UK, including Shakespeare, John Constable and folks like that, and of course Elisabeth Scott. We have got a good representative sample,” Thomson said when asked why the likes of writer Jane Austen were left out.

UK Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said, “By using some of the most advanced technology and security measures around, this passport design is the most secure that the UK has ever issued.”

A new British passport is launched every five years and the outgoing edition featured British birdlife and geography.

Other new security features include fibres embedded in the paper which fluoresce under UV light.

“This is the most secure passport we have ever produced,” Thomson said.

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