Much to the joy of connoisseurs of postage stamps, the Department of Post (DoP) on Monday opened a new-look National Philatelic Museum at Dak Bhawan here. Apart from displaying rare stamps and other interesting articles, the renovated museum has added an amphitheatre, an artists' corner and a reference library aimed at brining people closure to India Post.

“We have transformed this museum, located at the ground floor of Dak Bhawan, with an expenditure of Rs.1.5 crore. It now has a much larger space that provides for greater visibility and easier access, besides being interactive. The museum attempts to showcase the great Indian panorama as presented through its postage stamps,” said Department of Posts Secretary Radhika Doraiswamy after inaugurating the museum.

“The museum also has an amphitheatre for talk shows and presentations for sharing information and experience with philatelic groups. An artists' corner has also been added that showcases the actual designing of a stamp…we will invite artists to give live demonstrations. We will also provide space to philatelist to display there collection in this museum,” she said.

A special display

To mark this special occasion, the DoP has also organised a special display of stamps on Mahatma Gandhi. According to Ms. Doraiswamy: “Gandhiji is the most depicted personality of the world on postage stamps. Across the world, 110 countries have issued postage stamps on Gandhiji.”

She further said they have showcased collection on Mahatma Gandhi of Philatelist V.P. Sharma. “Mr. Sharma's collection exhibits the first stamp issued on Mahatma Gandhi on August 15, 1948 and first stamp released by various countries, besides a rare stamp released by Germany in which ambidextrous Gandhiji is shown writing with left hand,” she added.

The new-look museum also has bays dedicated to Prime Ministers of India, along with freedom fighters. It also has displays on several themes such as science and technology, transport and wildlife. There are glimpses of stamps from abroad, and displays from the Army Postal Service and India Security Press, Nashik. There is a view of some stamps created by Cartor, one of the leading security printers in the world today. The museum is also studded with relics, models and pictures of postal life over the centuries.

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