Unsatisfactory for some, insufficient for others, and controversial for the majority, the law 24/2006 of July 7th proclaimed 2006 as the Year of the Historical Memory in Spain.
According to this disposition, from October 23rd to November 5th 2006, Correos showed on its website 10 different designs for the public to vote on, in order to choose the design appearing on 4 new commemorative postage stamps: 2 'traditional' stamps and 2 variable value stamps or ATMs.
The 3rd most popular design, with 9% of the total votes, is a work of Enrique Jiménez Carrero, designer of some philatelic issues and ATMs (See Enrique Jiménez Carrero).
There are some differences between the initial proposal presented for voting (left image) and the definitive design (right), a result of the adaptation to the more extended format of the ATM.
The 4th design by the number of votes, with 7% of the total, is a proposal of the Estudio Jesús Sánchez, author of different stamp issues as well as the souvenir-sheets of the Philatelic World-wide Exhibitions ESPAÑA 2002, ESPAÑA 2004 and ESPAÑA 06.
As in the previous case, there are some differences between the proposal presented for voting on (left), and the definitive version (right), because of the adaptation to the different format.
The design is formed by a continuous text, arranged in 8 lines, where the complete words DESCONOCIDO (unknown) and DESAPARECIDO (disappeared) are repeated 12 times. These words refer to the thousands of victims of the Spanish civil war who today have still not been located or identified. Between the lines, mixed and emphasized in red, is the title of the issue: 2006 año de la Memoria Histórica (2006 year of the Historical Memory).
The definitive version adapts the initial design, with the words DESCONOCIDO and DESAPARECIDO repeated on 11 occasions, and in this design the word CONOCIDO (known) appears once only on the 5th line. This is both rare and strange, because in all the other lines only the contrary words ‘unknown’ and ‘disappeared’ are present !
The reasons why the designer included this isolated word are not known, but we could suggest 2 possibilities:
(a) it is just a error in design, like this one appearing in the 1st line of the initial design -DESCONOCIDOCIDO: This is not a real word in Spanish, but the combination of the words DESCONOCIDO (unknown) and CIDO (is nothing), much like UNKNOWNWN in English.
(b) -much more suggestive- could be an optimistic comment by the designer; maybe he thinks that the new law will help to find and identify some of the victims ... a whisper of hope in view of the initiative by the Government.
On some rolls of this design there appears some small discontinuous horizontal red lines in the lower part of the stamp, every 21 labels. Differences of tone in some stamps have also been observed, for example the last A of ESPAÑA is grey instead of black.
Anyway these are already the well-known cyclical and isolated manufacture errors, similar to those appearing in all the Spanish ATM issues, and they do not occur in every roll.
Note that both designs of labels use a different font and format for the word ESPAÑA, edgewise at the right. Also the Correos logo is at 90º in relation to the previous ATM issues.
© J. Jove - M. Sans. ATEEME. Variable value stamps study group. All rights reserved
This page was created in February 2007. Last updated: 16.03.07 . English edition rewritten by S. Goodman (16.03.07)