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PRESS RELEASE: PHLPost releases joint commemorative stamps to mark PHL-France 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations

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The Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) releases new joint special stamps featuring paintings of Filipino artist Macario Vitalis and French painter Jacques Villon to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Philippines-France Diplomatic relations.

“PHLPost is proud to present paintings of great Filipino artist Macario Vitalis and French painter Jacques Villon presented in miniature form or postage stamps which signifies common engagement, through friendship, and historical ties of both countries known throughout the world”, Postmaster General Joel Otarra said.

Macario Cruz Vitalis (1898-1990) a Filipino Modernist painter influenced by French Post-Impressionism. Born in 1898 in a small town in Lapog, Ilocos Sur, he was a teenager when he left the Philippines and moved to the United States of America in 1917, where he attended an art school in San Francisco. He left the United States for France in 1927 where he studied in the Academie de Montmarte and set up his studio in the Paris suburb of Puteaux.

In 1975 he was declared “the only honorary citizen” of Ple’stin-les-Gre’ves, Britanny, where he had originally settled. In 1984 he was honored with the Medal of Excellence from the Institute Academique de Paris.

Jacques Villon (1875-1963) was a French cubist painter and printmaker. Born Emile Mery Frederic Gaston Duchamp in Damville, Eure, in Normandy, France, he came from a prosperous and artistically-inclined family. To distinguish himself from his siblings, he adopted the pseudonym of Jacques Villon as a tribute to the French medieval poet Francois Villon. He lost interest in the pursuit of a legal career and for the next ten years he worked in graphic media, contributing cartoons and illustrations to the Parisian newspapers.

Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and France was established on 26 June 1947 with the signing of a Treaty of Friendship in Paris by then Philippine Vice-President Elpidio Quirino and then French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault. With both countries reeling from wounds of World war II, the Philippines was granted its independence by the United States of America on July 4,1947 and French Republic was restored with the Liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944.

Designed by in-house artist Rodine Teodoro, PHLPost has printed 110,000 copies of the P12.00 and P55.00 denomination of the said commemorative stamps.

The stamps and official first day cover are now available at the Post Shop, Central Post Office, Window 04, Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila and area post offices nationwide. For inquiries, please call 527-01-08 or 527-01-32.

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