World Stamps

By Denise McCarty

The U.N. stamps that were issued for the 33rd Asian stamp exhibition in China

December 11, 2016 07:00 PM

  • The United Nations Postal Administration’s souvenir sheet issued Dec. 2 for the 33rd Asian international stamp exhibition depicts scenes featuring the Monkey King from the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. The sheet contains stamps in three different currencies, one stamp for each U.N. post office.

By Denise McCarty

The United Nations Postal Administration issued a souvenir sheet with stamps in three currencies Dec. 2 at China 2016, the 33rd Asian stamp exhibition held Dec. 2-6 in Nanning, China.

The three se-tenant (side-by-side) stamps in the sheet are denominated $1.15 for use from the post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City; 2 francs for use from the post office at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; and €1.70 for use from the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria.

The designs feature the Monkey King, a main character in the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West.

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In announcing the new souvenir sheet, the UNPA said, “The novel is an extended account of the legendary pilgrimage of the Tang dynasty Buddhist monk Xuanzang and his protectors who traveled to Central Asia and India to obtain the Buddhist Scriptures.”

The tale of the Monkey King, also known as Sun Wukong, has been retold numerous times in different media, including opera, plays, films, animated series, and postage stamps.

The designer of the U.N. souvenir sheet, Li Yunzhong, also designed China’s Journey to the West stamps issued May 3, 2015, and served as the art consultant for the recent animated film Monkey King Thrice Beats White-bone Demon.

This is the second UNPA event souvenir sheet with stamps in three currencies; the first was issued earlier this year on Aug. 10 for the 32nd Asian international stamp exhibition, held Aug. 10-15 in Bangkok, Thailand (Linn’s, Aug. 8, page 10).

For ordering information for both souvenir sheets, visit the UN Stamps website; email 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.