On 1 September, a set of five stamps will be placed in circulation,
with the misleading title “Distinguished Greek Personalities”
instead of “2016 IFG Awards”, the sequel of the sad affair of 2013.
Back then, there was very strong criticism from the Hellenic
Philotelic Society, as well as from the whole of organised
philately, as the stamps depicted living individuals.
For the remainder of 2013, as well as 2014 and 2015, there was no
similar incident, most probably because of those strong reactions.
However, in 2016, there was a compromise: we saw stamps of Glezos,
Zamanos, Maragoudakis and Vardinoyannis in the 75th anniversary of
the EAM set, as well as of Theodorakis in the Lambrakis Movement
set. For these persons no objection was raised whatsoever for
obvious reasons: they are enjoying the closing stages of their long
adventure, the chapters concerning their history have already been
concluded. They are living legends.
The repetition of the regrettable 2013 set is very much upsetting.
Also upsetting is that the carbon-copy events of 2013 indicate that
the new leadership of the Hellenic Post was asked to ratify a
decision taken in its absence. It is upsetting that they approved
the set, completely ignoring the logic behind the honourable
compromise of their predecessors. Causing further upset is the
reappearance of this unknown, foreign (!) foundation, whose logo
will appear for a second (!) time on a Greek set of stamps. It is
upsetting, as it was emphasised back in 2013, that Greek stamps,
timeless symbols of our national culture, will be relegated to
nothing more than a mere firework to an event celebrating
We do not call into question any good intentions those behind this
issue may have, nor, of course, the worthiness of the five honorees.
However, it is upsetting to observe the lack of respect shown
towards the regulations regarding depictions of living individuals
on stamps. Equally upsetting are the common ‘oriental’ ways of
levity, pretentiousness and ostentation, meddling or ‘pulling rank’,
of which, it seems, we can never rid ourselves.
The 2016 IFG Awards are:
Rita Wilson, Costa-Gavras, John A. Catsimatidis,
George Stephanopoulos and Peter H. Diamandis