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Overprinting instead of destruction

Pressemeldung from 25.01.2005

Old stamps get turned into works of art

As of today, 25 January 2005, Austria has about 52.5 million new works of art – each one of them easy to acquire, and at a low price, too: Österreichische Post AG’s new overprint stamps are available from the 500 largest post offices in Austria.

Overprint stamps
These stamps are a philately rarity. Postal operators only rarely issue this special type of stamps. Overprint stamps are stamps whose rates are no longer valid and which get a new value assigned to them by overprinting. While in the past this was a matter of simply overprinting the face value, the new stamps offered by Österreichische Post AG are small works of arts.
In 2005, eight stamps will be re-issued as overprint stamps at a price of € 0.55 each. This year, the “Shadow and Fur” and “Ski Jumper” stamps will be presented to the public.

Stamp design supplied by Vienna University for Applied Arts
For the first time ever in Austria, overprints have been designed by artists.
The University for Applied Arts in Vienna invited students to submit designs in a competition to find creative graphical design ideas for the overprint. Two master classes handed in proposals, and the best designs were selected.

New stamps – special exhibition
From 26 January to 8 February 2005, from Tuesday to Friday 11:00 to 18:00 h, all the designs can be viewed by the public at an exhibition staged at the Vienna University of Applied Arts. For more information, please visit the university’s website at

The first generation of new Euro-denominated definitive stamps were replaced on 1 June 2003 due to the introduction of new rates. Österreichische Post AG decided not to destroy the more than half a million left-over panes of stamps – the Austrian State Printing Office came up with the idea to overprint the stamps.

For more information please contact:

Österreichische Post AG
Corporate Communications
Public relations
Michael Homola
Phone: +43 (1) 515 51 – 32010

Vienna, 25 January 2005