World Stamps

Finland to issue President Ahtisaari mourning stamp

Nov 23, 2023, 1 PM
Finland will honor President Martti Ahtisaari with a mourning stamp designed by Timo Berry using a photograph by Tuukka Koski. The stamp will be issued Dec. 15.

By Molly Goad

Finland’s postal administration, Posti, will honor the memory of President Martti Ahtisaari with a mourning stamp arriving Dec. 15.

Ahtisaari, the former president of the Republic of Finland, died at age 86 in Helsinki on Oct. 16. Born on June 23, 1937, in Vyborg, he served as Finland’s president from 1994 to 2000. Ahtisaari received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008.

The stamp was designed by Timo Berry using a photograph taken by Tuukka Koski.

The black-and-white design depicts Ahtisaari alongside the inscription “In Memoriam Martti Ahtisaari 1937-2023.” The nondenominated stamp pays the domestic rate (currently €2.30) and is sold in panes of 10.

A first-day cover and cachet will be issued. The cover bears the text “Rauha on tahdon asia,” which means “peace is a question of will.”

“President Ahtisaari was a person of international distinction, who is known and appreciated especially for his work for peace,” Berry said. “The stamp is designed as an elegantly dignified portrait. His role as statesman can be seen in the first day cachet, which features the coat of arms of Finland. For the first day cover, I chose his perhaps most important thought, expressed in his Nobel Lecture: ‘Peace is a question of will.’ ”

Posti will honor Ahtisaari by contributing to the Peace Fund of CMI, an independent Finnish organization that works to prevent and resolve conflicts through dialog and mediation. Ahtisaari founded CMI in the year 2000.

Posti’s last mourning stamp was issued in memory of President Mauno Koivisto in 2017 (Scott 1545).

Past mourning stamps have honored individuals such as composer Jean Sibelius in 1957 (Scott 353), runner Paavo Nurmi in 1973 (542), and presidents Kyosti Kallio in 1941 (233), P.E. Svinhufvud in 1944 (246) and Urho Kekkonen in 1986 (742).

Visit Posti’s online shop for more details.

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