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FRANCE. 2023, ‘Nouvelles du Paradis’, the exhibition at the Musée de La Poste

In September 2023 the Musée de La Poste in Paris opened a new exhibition ‘Nouvelles du paradis, la carte postale de vacances’ (which can be translated as ‘News from paradise, the holiday postcard’), an interesting temporary exhibition dedicated to the tourist postcard.

The curator of the exhibition stated that sending a postcard in 2023 is almost like a radical gesture … Indeed, something that was commonplace for many of us years ago, and closely related to our interest in philately, has now become an extremely rare thing. Very few tourists send postcards any more, so why waste time and money looking for, writing, franking and sending a postcard even when perhaps it may never arrive (see article), when sending a WhatsApp is fast, free and immediate?

The exhibition opened on September 6th 2023 and can be visited until March 18th 2024. Organised in collaboration with the Archives Nationales, the exhibition allows visitors to approach the world of the tourist postcard from various angles, as a visual object that at the time depicted images of tourist sites, as an economic object that enabled a particular industry to flourish, as an object of correspondence and social relations and, of course, as a collector’s item.

The Musée de La Poste produced several products associated with the exhibition; a catalogue, a collection of postcards, a folder or “collector” with eight self-adhesive stamps reproducing different tourist postmarks, and a new vignette LISA. With no prior announcement by Philaposte, this issue for the first time for LISA issues in France, went unnoticed by collectors for several days.

No special illustrated postmark has been produced for these issues. The museum has a permanent date postmark, illustrated with a horse-drawn mail coach and used – with some variations – since 2009 (see article, published in VARIABLE 15), and a further museum handstamp, in use since 2019.

As for the other special vignette LISA designs specific to the Musée, these can only be purchased from the IER NABANCO kiosk installed in the postal museum shop.

This machine works autonomously, i.e. is not connected to the La Poste postal network, and is permanently programmed with the special ‘philatelic software’, and consequently issues variable value stamps without the Datamatrix code. The program does not allow the printing of stamps for tracked mail or ‘SUIVI‘, nor for registered mail, although through the ‘Vignette montant au choix’ (Stamp value to be chosen) option, it is possible to purchase stamps with the prefix AA and the various options for domestic registered mail (LETTRE RECOMMANDÉE R1, R2, R3 & AR), with a face value from the minimum amount programmed (0.15€ in the example shown in the images below).

(English edition rewritten by J. Gareze – March 2024)

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