U.N. Greetings from Geneva pane includes peacocks, sheep

By Denise McCarty

This pane of 10 stamps and labels celebrates the 45th anniversary of the United Nations Postal Administration’s post office at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Scenes of the Palais des Nations, Ariana Park, peacocks and sheep are pictured on the stamps, and a night scene is shown in the selvage.

The United Nations Postal Administration will issue a pane of 10 stamps and labels Sept. 12 to honor the 45th anniversary of UNPA/Geneva.

Called “Greetings from Geneva,” the pane features images of the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, including peacocks and sheep.

The Palais des Nations, the home of the U.N. office in Geneva and the former home of the League of Nations, is located in the city’s Ariana Park, where peacocks are a familiar sight.

The website of the U.N. office in Geneva said: “The park was originally owned by the Revilliod de Rive family whose last descendant bequeathed it to the City of Geneva.

“One of the bequest’s conditions was that peacocks should roam freely on its grounds. It is not unusual to see peacocks dancing in full splendor in the Palais grounds. Most of the birds that visitors can see today are peafowl donated to UNOG in 1997 by a zoo in Japan. Others were a gift from the Permanent Mission of India. The birds are fed and cared for by the park’s gardeners.”

Peacocks are pictured on the top and bottom stamps in the right column. These, like all of the stamps in the pane, are denominated 1.30 francs.

Also, the 10 labels all show the same image of a peacock.

The sheep that graze in the park are pictured on the stamp at the bottom of the left column. Local farmers bring these sheep to the park for a couple of weeks each autumn.

An article on the United Nations’ Greening the Blue website explained how the sheep help the environment: “The purpose of hosting these special guests is to have them graze the meadow, thereby cutting the grass in an ecologically sustainable manner and providing natural fertilizer for the grass and flowers that will grow in the spring.”

Pictured in the pane’s selvage is a night view of the park, the Palais des Nations and Armillary sphere. Created by American sculptor Paul Manship, the sphere was donated to the League of Nations by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation in 1939.

The sphere also is pictured on the middle stamp in the right column.

The other stamp designs include three interior scenes and two showing the flags of U.N. member nations.

Rorie Katz of the United Nations designed the pane.

The U.N. office in Geneva was established in 1966. Three years later, in 1969, the UNPA post office at the Palais des Nations opened. The first stamps for the office were issued Oct. 4 of that year.

For ordering information for the new UNPA/Greetings from Geneva pane, visit the website http://unstamps.un.org; e-mail unpanyinquiries@un.org; telephone 800-234-8672; fax 212-963-9854; or write to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900.

Published 8/18/2014 10:00 AM