'World Stamp Championship' slated for Tel Aviv expo

Rare philatelic items from some of the best stamp collections in the world will be exhibited in Tel Aviv.

postal stamps 88.298 (photo credit: )
postal stamps 88.298
(photo credit: )
Rare philatelic items valued at a total of $100 million from some of the best stamp collections in the world will be exhibited between May 14 and May 21 at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds. For the first time in Israel, the exhibition will be in the innovative format of a "World Stamp Championship," with competition among the best collections on earth. More than 2,600 exhibition frames of stamps from 70 countries will be on display at the event, organized by the Israel Philatelic Federation and the Israel Postal Company and its Philatelic Service. The public will see unique stamps like the American "Inverted Jenny," the best collection of France's first stamps, and philatelic documentation of turbulent historical periods such as the Boer War in South Africa or the civil war in China. All the world's outstanding collections featuring Holy Land postal history will be on show, including very rare letters mailed in the Holy Land from the Middle Ages to contemporary times. Letters of European merchants who operated in the coastal towns of the Land of Israel in the Middle Ages; evidence of the post offices operated by the European powers here during the declining years of the Ottoman Empire; letters of people from the First Aliya colonies; mail from the military units that fought in Palestine in the World Wars; and the emergency mail services during the War of Independence will be displayed. The event will include an educational section where visitors can see interesting and amusing philatelic items, such as stamps in a variety of shapes and sizes; others printed on odd materials like iron, wood and silk; 3D stamps; and stamps with secret messages hidden in them. Propaganda stamps that evoked diplomatic protests and even led to bloody wars will be showcased alongside charity stamps that contributed to worthy causes all over the world. Stamps with amusing and embarrassing design errors will be seen next to stamps commemorating significant historic events. For the first time, visitors to the exhibition will be able to have their photos taken and receive a pane of personalized stamps with a flower scent embedded in them or have their picture taken with Sponge Bob. A stamp pane with 12 Jetix Channel characters is available for children. The Philatelic Service is preparing a large activity center for the entire family and guided tours. Visitors who have found old stamps at home can bring them to the exhibition for free assessments of their value from authorized stamp dealers.