Joint stamp issue with the Vatican

Gibraltar will be issuing a joint stamp issue tomorrow with the Vatican City to commemorate the 700th Anniversary of the Devotion to Our Lady of Europe. This issue has been approved by the Queen, by the Pope, the Bishop of Gibraltar and the Government of Gibraltar.

"This is a very significant and truly historic joint stamp issue for Gibraltar," says Glendon Martinez of the Philatelic Buereau. A joint stamp issue is the release of stamps by two countries to commemorate the same topic, in this case, sharing designs and day of issue but retaining each country's currency values.

The design features the priceless, hand-carved ancient statue that resides in the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe in Gibraltar, carefully photographed by our designer Stephen Perera with the enthusiastic assistance of the Shrine's curator.

It is a real honour that the Vatican Philatelic Bureau is featuring the statue of our Lady of Europe on their stamps but it is even more significant to highlight that the Gibraltar miniature sheet features the Basilica in St. Peter's Square and the Vatican City miniature sheet features the Rock of Gibraltar.

"Just imagine, the millions of people that visit the Vatican Postal Museum and Vatican souvenir shops will actually see the Rock of Gibraltar on one of the Vatican stamps!" Mr Martinez added. The Vatican has produced very few joint issues in the past so the importance of such an achievement for the whole Gibraltar must not be understated. Two recent joint issues from Vatican are a joint issue of stamps issued with Germany featuring Pope Benedict and a joint issue of stamps with Poland featuring Pope John Paul II.