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The art of writing and sending letters

One of the most popular things to collect is stamps. Perhaps the fascination is the notion that each stamp carries a story, both within itself and the letter or parcel it is stuck on. True, most of us have given up on writing and choose to type, and we only go to the post office for stamps at Christmas. But there are some people out there who are fascinated by stamps, where they came from and when, and also in the hand-written word.

The Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation will excite stamp collectors and all those interested in their history on Friday with the lecture Cyprus 1880-1896: Issues of Queen Victoria Postage Stamps.

The lecture is the first in a series under the name Collectors that aim to present the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation Collections as well as other private collections.

The issues of Queen Victoria Cyprus stamps in the 19th century mark the most interesting period of Cypriot philatelism. These issues are important as a part of both global and local history. This is because it was believed that the face of the monarch should be depicted on stamps as a token of respect across the entire British Empire, and this remained the case until the 1920s.

The presentation includes a brief examination of the history of Cyprus in conjunction with international events that had a direct impact on our region’s philatelic history, followed by an extensive analysis of the five-series issued between 1880 and 1896.

The analysis includes the design of the stamps, their historical significance, the printing process and printing errors as well as their usage on envelopes.

The speaker, Vice-President of the Cyprus Philatelic Society Akis Christou, will also present an interesting aspect of postal history through a few scandals of the time, which will be mentioned in the lecture.

Carrying on the theme of correspondence by letters, the cultural foundation will offer an educational workshop in the series Young Collectors on Saturday at 11.30am.

During the workshop Christou will give a brief introduction on the basic principles of epistolography, from the moment ideas are put on paper until their arrival at the receiver of the letter.

The children participating in the workshop will have the opportunity to learn about the process followed once the letter goes into the envelope to be posted, the reason why we use stamps, how they are placed into mailboxes, collected by post offices, sorted and mailed to the final receiver.

Also presented is the postage stamp printing process and how children can participate in philatelic competitions.

After a brief discussion and a short visual art game among the entire group, each child will be invited to create their own postage stamp for the series entitled Journey into Space. Using the collage technique, children will compose an image on A3 paper and then decorate it by using an array of figures and materials.

Educational Officer, author and illustrator Eleni Sioufi will help the children with the creative process.

Participation for this event is free but reservation is required by calling 22-128182.

Cyprus 1880-1896: Issues of Queen Victoria Postage Stamps
Lecture by Akis Christou, Vice-President of Cyprus Philatelic Society. January 20. Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, Nicosia. 7pm. In Greek. Tel: 22-128157

Stamps and their Usage
Educational epistolography workshop for young people. January 21. Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, Nicosia. 10am and 11.30am. Free. Tel: 22-128182

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