On 28 January, Eesti Post presented the postage stamp block ‘Discovery of Antarctica 200. Estonian–Russian joint issue’ at the Seaplane Harbour.
Kersti Kaljulaid, President of the Republic of Estonia, who is currently in Antarctica, was contacted by phone. The President told mr. Urmas Dresen, director of the Estonian Maritime Museum, that the crew of the sailing yacht “Admiral Bellingshausen” received a warm welcome at the Russian base in Antarctica. “The less we have cold air masses in Antarctica, the quicker is the climate change, and we cannot rely on our grandchildren on this, but we must take action now,” said President Kaljulaid.
The souvenir sheet was created by Ivan Ulyanovsky, who also designed the stamp block declared Russia’s best in 2019. The first day cover was designed by Roman Matkiewicz from the Estonian Maritime Museum. The stamp of the first day of issue and the special stamp of the Maritime Museum were also in use and the stamped cards can be posted on site.
‘Joint issues of postage stamps have played a significant role in mediating cultures between countries and celebrating important events. The only other Estonian–Russian joint issue, ‘Lake Peipsi fish’, was released in 2000, while the previous release related to Antarctica was the Estonian–Chilean joint issue in 2006,’ said Ansi Arumeel, Chairman of the Management Board of Eesti Post. ‘The Estonian–Russian joint issue ‘Discovery of Antarctica 200’ is the sixteenth joint issue of Eesti Post and a worthy successor to those that came before,’ Arumeel added.
According to Urmas Dresen, Director of the Estonian Maritime Museum, the work of popularising maritime history and climate research does not end with the celebration of this anniversary: ‘The Estonian Polar Club takes the winners of pupils’ polar quiz to the expedition to the Arctic already in March. Lectures will take place in schools in spring. The Jazzkaar festival in April will end with a piece from the sounds of the Antarctic recorded during the voyage. Starting from May, a travelling exhibition will make its way to Tartu, Kuressaare, and Narva.’
Drinks served at the reception following the presentation of the postage stamp block included Re-Crafted Crafter’s, Liviko’s craft lemonade created with the world-renowned principle of zero-waste production, and the Bellingshausen vodka cocktail released to honour the anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica. Café Maru served dessert inspired by the icy fog.
The popular-scientific expedition to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica was organised by MTÜ Thetis Ekspeditsioonid and SA Eesti Meremuuseum. The trip started on 14 July 2019 in Kronstadt, Russia, and included about a dozen forums and other events in cooperation with polar and climate researchers all over the world. The expedition was supported by the Ministry of Education and Research, the European Commission Representation in Estonia, and numerous Estonian companies, including Telia, Tallink, Enefit Green, Sillamäe Sadam, GO Travel, Sportland, Alexela, Baltic Workboats, and Postimees Grupp.
Photos Raigo Pajula
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Due to the state of emergency in the country the museum is closed until May, 1 2020, if not reconsidered sooner. All events during this time period are postponed or cancelled.
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