Canadians have been asked to stop drawing Leonard Nimoy-inspired Mr Spock pictures on their $5 bank notes.
For years, fans of the famous Star Trek character have been scribbling on face of former PM Wilfrid Laurier – Canada’s first Francophone prime minister – on $5 banknotes.
This gathered pace last week with the death of the actor.
Canada’s central bank said earlier in the week that it was not illegal to add Spock’s pointy Vulcan ears, sharp eyebrows and signature bowl haircut to the notes.
However, it did encourage citizens to stop their scribbling.
Bank spokeswoman Josianne Menard said in an email: “There are important reasons why it should not be done.”
She went on to explain the bank believed it was “inappropriate” to deface the banknote because it was a “Canadian symbol and source of national pride”.
The acceleration of the trend followed the actor’s death on Friday with social media users posting their own versions of Laurier’s Vulcan makeover in honour of their hero.
“Spock your $5 bills for Leonard Nimoy,” the Canadian Design Resource tweeted on its posting while Simon Williams tweeted: “I’ve had a beat up Canadian 5 buried in my wallet for years, finally found a use for it!”
Images of the altered bills were circulated widely online and attracted international media attention.
Calgary artist Tom Bagley, who posted his own Spock-Laurier hybrid on Facebook and Flickr after Nimoy’s death, said the original idea came about as an old bar trick to impress a waitress and he did not see anything wrong with it.
“I always thought it was OK as long as the numbers were intact – it still counted as money,” he said.
“That’s what I heard. Because stuff happens like, say, you spill spaghetti sauce all over it or something like that.”