Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Stamp collectors at NATO headquarters

On Wednesday 26 October 2016 the Belgian post (bpost) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) celebrated the new buildings of the Western military alliance headquarters, set in Brussels since December 1966.
The "European one point" stamp, sold in illustrated minisheets of five (bpost webshop).
The postal operator issued a five stamp minisheet by Kris Maes representing the principal front of the new headquarters, with the circle of member states flags - Belgium, the Unites States, the United Kingdom and Turkey well placed in the foreground and the alphabetic order (and the needs of the current situation in the Middle East?).

The first day of sale is reported by NATO on its youTube page. First are the stamps printed and checked by employees of the postal printing plant in Mechelen, with the proud speech of Belgium permanent representative.

Then, with images of the sales, NATO Deputy Secretary General  Rose Gottemoeller of the USA expressed her joy (on Twitter too) as a stamp collector with her husband. She told that, assigned in a foreign country, they bought complete sheet of a particularly appreciated stamp to frame and decorated their house.

The video ends with collectors getting their first day cancels and sticking the stamp in their Belgium album pages.
Charles Mazelin signed souvenirs at the French ten anniversary stamp he designed and engraved, 12 December 1959 (NATO website).
A gift: the NATO website has got a small history of the postage stamps and commemorative cancels created in its name, starting 1952 with Portugal and the United States issues.

The display lacks mails posted during the operations under NATO command - but too close to war and casualties surely... and choose them carefully, the Allies are still blamed for some of them.

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