Friday, January 24, 2014

1974 Europa CEPT - Cyprus 29.4.1974

Europa stamps are special stamps issued by European postal administrations/ enterprises under the aegis of PostEurop in which Europe is the central theme.  EUROPA stamps underlines cooperation in the posts domain, taking into account promotion of philately. They also build awareness of the common roots, culture and history of Europe and its common goals.As such, EUROPA stamp issues are among the most collected and most popular stamps in the world. Since the first issue in 1956, EUROPA stamps have been a tangible symbol of Europe’s desire for closer integration and cooperation and in 1993, PostEurop became responsible for issuing EUROPA stamps. Over the years, EUROPA stamp has gained more interest within the Postal community as well as with philatelist, and reflects the engagement from the members in diligently participating in the competition.
From 1974, the designs freely reflect a common theme. Of note is the CEPT logo indicating it is a Europa CEPT stamp issue. The success of Europa issues among collectors prompted many postal administrations of small countries or territories dependent of European countries (the Channel Islands for instance) to join the issuing countries in the 70s. The number of participants reaches 35 in the 80s. Turkey has participated continuously since 1960, and communist Yugoslavia from 1969. The collapse of the communist bloc brings new issuers as of 1990 to reach 57 countries in the late 90s. A common theme of Sculptures was the theme for 1974.
These three stamps of Cyprus show the famous statue placed at the entrance to the European Parliament building.  The stamps were issued on 29.4.1974. The postmark shows the CEPT trademark logo.
The myth of Europa has inspired writers, historians, painters and European politicians throughout the centuries; they gave her name to a continent and created several pieces of art depicting the love making of Zeus and Europe. But let us first recall the most common version of this ancient legend. According to Greek mythology, the Phoenician maiden named ‘Europa’ was one of the many objects of affection of Olympian chief god Zeus. At first sight of Europa, the god was infatuated by her striking beauty and grace. Not being one to ignore his desires, Zeus immediately comes up with a cunning plan. In order to avoid the anger of his jealous wife Hera, and to get his way with the girl, Zeus metamorphosed in a beautiful white bull. While the young maiden was gathering flowers, she saw the bull, and – fascinated by its handsome flanks and gentle behavior - caressed him and got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity to abduct Europa and swim to the island of Crete. He there revealed his true identity, raped and impregnated her. Europa gave birth to Minos, who would become king of Crete. The myth of Europa and the Bull seems to do this in terms of Europe: it is a significant and sexy image of Europe reinventing itself as the European Union.  
Then she became less shy, he gave his breast to her caressing hands
and let her garland even his horns with new-plucked flowers. The princess, 
innocent on whom she sat, climbed to his back; slowly the god stepped out
into the shallows of the beach and … took to sea, 
swimming against full tide, the girl his captured prize; she fearful, 
turned to shoreward, set one hand on his broad back, the other held
one horn, her dress behind her fluttered in the wind.
But from this story of a divine-king defying morality and taking whatever he wants when he wants, Europe gets its name. Naming is very important in Scripture: it’s a symbol of dominion. He who rules, names. This is why after giving Adam dominion over the earth, God brought him all of the animals for him to name. Adam also named his wife. He who has dominion, names. This does not mean that he who names has dominion.

Thank you Merja.

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