The PHILATAIPEI 2016 World Stamp Championship Exhibition opened on Friday in Taipei, showcasing 2,450 philately items from exhibitors from 80 countries and areas.
Chunghwa Post Co., the nation's official postal service, is hosting this year's exhibition, which is being held in Taiwan for the first time and coincides with the company's 120th anniversary.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (???) said the exhibition offers a valuable opportunity for Taiwan to showcase its advanced postal services, exquisite stamp designs, love for stamp collection and ability to organize an international exhibition.
"Stamps have always been called a country's business card," Chen said, adding that he hopes visitors to the exhibition can get to know more about Taiwan's unique historical, cultural and ecological landscapes through its stamps.
Chunghwa Post Chairman Ong Wen-chyi (???) said stamp lovers can look forward to a good time during the exhibition.
"But we also want to send a message to the (rest of the) world that even in the age of video games, stamp collection remains popular because it is the kings' hobby," Ong said in English, adding "And we are kings."
A total of 130 national postal services, stamp dealers and collectors have set up booths at Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1, where the exhibition will run until Oct. 26.
With this year's theme being "Legacy and Innovation," the exhibition will detail postal history and traditions, as well as modern-day transformation and potential future developments of postal services.
One of the philatelic rarities on display is a sheet of original Shanghai flying geese stamps that bear no face value. The sheet of 200 frames was brought by the Kuomintang government to Taiwan in 1949 at the end of the Chinese civil war and has been singled out as rare and of historical significance.
Also featured is a sheet of four stamps depicting a ceremonial elephant carrying a pot on its back, which despite never being officially issued are the first set of Chinese designed postage stamps.
Other highlights include one sheet of 25 unused wide margin large dragon stamps, which are considered one of the rarest philatelic national treasures of China.
The exhibition will feature stamps from 101 countries and 16 mailboxes painted with symbols and images from Taiwan's 16 indigenous tribes, as well as augmented reality stamps, animation, virtual reality and other audio-visual elements.
In 2014, the Federation of International Philately granted Chunghwa Post the rights to host the 2016 World Stamp Championship Exhibition. The company has hosted the Asian International Stamp Exhibition for four times since 1996.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel