70th Anniversary of the End of World War II
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the founding of the United Nations (1945-2015). The largest conflict in human history embroiled most nations around the world and caused destruction and massacres which led to over sixty million victims. The Philatelic and Numismatic Office will mark the two anniversaries with the issue of a miniature sheet consisting of two postage stamps of 2.00 euro each. The stamps feature work by artist Marco Ventura who on the first value depicts an injured hand against a dark background to symbolize the defeat of humanity in the face of the horrors of war. The second stamp shows three hands symbolically holding up the world, the UN headquarters in New York, and an olive branch against a fair sky, all representing the possibility of building together a future of peace. The contrast between the two opposing realities is accented further with the barbed wire which appears in the stamps on the left side of the sheet, while exiting on the right side transformed into the colors of a rainbow, a universal symbol of peace.
Stamp and Coin Card
The stamp and coin card issued this year by the Philatelic and Numismatic Office consist of four types with the usual elements: the 50 cent euro coin with the last two digits of the current year and, for the first time, each of the four values of the official 2015 postage stamp series on Pope Francis. The stamp&coin cards are characterized by the different postage stamp values, as well as the official logo of the Philatelic and Numismatic Office printed in four different colors.
150th Anniversary of Corps of Harbour Masters and Coast Guard
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Corps of Harbour Masters and Coast Guard, a corps of the Italian Navy whose tasks and functions mainly concern civil use of the sea. The Coast Guard comes under the authority of various government ministries, but primarily the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, which in 1994 took over handling most matters related to commercial and recreational navigation. The Philatelic and Numismatic Office will celebrate this anniversary with the issue of a special folder containing a postage stamp and label. The stamp commemorates the visit of Pope Francis to Lampedusa and Linosa in 2013, while the label shows a hand giving support to a migrant saved from the rough seas. The stamp and label are offered on an enveloppe with the special cancellation produced for the occasion. The background of the inside pages of the folder features views of the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica and a Coast Guard patrol boat escorting a vessel which ran adrift. In addition to the official logo, the outside pages show photos of Pope Saint John Paul II boarding the patrol boat “Michele Fiorillo” (Gaeta, 25 June 1989) and the meeting of Pope Francis with the Coast Guard General Commandant, Admiral Felicio Angrisano (Città del Vaticano, 17 February 2015). As an expression of our profound gratitude to all the men and women of the Italian Coast Guard, we echo these recent words of the Holy Father: