World Stamp Championship to be held in Jerusalem

If you have stuck to a hobby of philately despite the marauding of email and social media sites, you are in for a treat.

The 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence will be marked in Jerusalem late this month with one of the world’s most prestigious stamp exhibitions in the world.

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The Israel 2018 World Stamp Championship, to be held from May 27 to May 31 and at no charge to visitors, will cover more than 2,000 square meters of space in the capital’s International Convention Center. The competition is being held under the auspices and supervision of the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) and is characterized by especially rare collections, whose owners have won large gold medals and will compete for prizes. The exhibition will also feature a special section – the honor wing – in which some of the world’s greatest collectors will present only one item each.

Marking not only the independence anniversary but also (belatedly) the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, the exhibition is being organized by the Israel Philatelic Federation and the Philatelic Services of Israel.

This is the second time that Israel has hosted the World Stamp Championship, which is considered to have the highest place among the stamp exhibitions worldwide.

The event will include not only Israeli collectors but those from more than 50 leading countries in the world of philately, such as the US, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Australia and China – who will exhibit some of the best collections of their country. Over 1,000 exhibition frames, including collections related to the philately of the Land of Israel, will be on show.

In the honor wing, 15 extraordinary items will be presented from collections that have won the greatest prize of world exhibitions, such as an 1870 letter from Paris besieged by the Germans that was sent in a zinc ball down the Seine; a letter partially burned by the Hindenburg airship; the well-known letter sent from Mongolia to Paris in 1854; the only known letter sent from Bolivia with several halved Condor stamps; and the first stamps on letters from the East Indies of the Netherlands.

In the World Championship division, all collections have previously won at least three large gold medals.

Israeli collector Itamar Karpovski will present the stamps from France, Austria, Russia, Germany and Italy in the Ottoman Empire. From Brazil, a 1918 collection dealing with Mandatory Palestine will be shown. Collections from 1948, including improvised stamps in besieged cities of Israel, will be displayed along with a collection from the Netherlands on the subject of the period of transition from the Mandate to Israel.

A collector from Germany will show stamps describing the postal route from Baghdad to Haifa.

A collection on the subject of post-Holocaust Theresienstadt from Austria will also be shown.

Visitors will also be able to purchase stamps and albums from Israel and abroad.

Opening hours will be Sunday May 27 between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Monday to Wednesday from noon to 8 p.m.; and Thursday from noon to 6 p.m.