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CULTURAL DIPLOMACY

Art Block of Stamps of Bohdan Khmelnytsky: Symbols of Authority and Artifacts from Europe’s Museums

Art Block of Stamps of Bohdan Khmelnytsky: Symbols of Authority and Artifacts from Europe’s Museums

In 2004, at the initiative of the Bogdan Gubsky Foundation “Ukraine – 21st Century”, Ukrposhta (Postal services) issued an art block of stamps of Bohdan Khmelnytsky: Symbols of Authority and Artifacts from Europe’s Museums, which was recognized as the best postal publication of 2004 in Ukraine, and took third place in the international philatelic competition at the Nexofil Awards of 2004, in Vienna.

The ceremony and presentation of these art blocks of stamps took place on January 29, 2004. 

The issuance of the stamps continued successfully and supplemented the Foundation’s previous project – the international exhibition, The Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky: Symbols of Authority and Artifacts from Europe’s Museums, which was exhibited in 2002 in the museums of four cities in Ukraine.

Each of the six historical relics in this exhibition The Hetman  Bohdan Khmelnytsky: Symbols of Authority and Artifacts from Europe’s Museums – were  immortalized on a separate block of six stamps by graphic artist, Vasyl Vasylenko: 

1. Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s signature flag (from the collection of the Army Museum; Stockholm, Sweden). 

2.Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s mace (from the collection of the Museum of the Polish Army; Warsaw, Poland). 

3.Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s saber (from the collection of the Foundation of the Czartoryski Princes at the National Museum in Krakow, Poland). 

4. Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s mug (from the collection of the Czartoryski Princes Foundation at the National Museum in Krakow,  Poland). 

5. Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s chalice for holy water (from the collection of the State Historical Museum; Moscow,  Russian Federation). 

6. Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s hat (from the collection of the National Museum of History of Ukraine, Kyiv).

The background of the art block depicts the Hetman’s coat of arms which glows in ultraviolet rays on each stamp (the ultraviolet rays are invisible in normal lighting). The block is embossed in silver. 

On January 29, 2004, Bogdan Gubsky, Chairman of the Board of Ukraine-21st Century Foundation; and Oleh Yatsenko, Chairman of the State Committee for Communications of Ukraine; took part in the presentation and special ceremony of the 6-stamp art block. Academics from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,  Valeriy Smoliy and Oleksiy Onyschenko; officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine; and representatives of the following embassies in Ukraine: the Kingdom of Sweden, the Republic of Poland and other countries, also participated.

65,000 copies of the stamps were printed and distributed in 189 countries. 

The block of stamps not only complemented the exhibit, but also represented Ukraine and its cultural and historical traditions–a significant symbol of its international recognition. 350 years ago, the name of the hetman was inextricably linked with the founding and struggle for international recognition of the Ukrainian State, and contributes to the popularization and international establishment of Ukraine.

Following the results of the annual competition for the best stamp of Ukraine, which together with the Association of Philatelists of Ukraine, newspapers Poshtovyi Visnyk, DK-Svyaz and the magazine Philately of Ukraine, which is held by Ukrposhta, this art block was recognized as the best postal issue of 2004 in Ukraine. The Foundation was awarded an Honorary Diploma.

In the same year, the stamps won the prestigious world award in philately, taking third place at the International Nexofil Awards competition of 2004 in Vienna, Austria. For almost 15 years, it was the highest and unsurpassed international award of Ukraine in the field of philately.

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