FRANCE. Fédération Française des Associations Philatéliques - 84 Congrès
100 ans de l'hôtel des Postes
- Metz 2011

Since 2004, the annual French championship of philately and the Congress of the Fédération Française des Associations Philatéliques has been held, alternately, between Paris and another city in France. After Nancy (2005), Poitiers (2007 - see article >>>, also published in VARIABLE 5) and Tarbes (2009 - see article >>>, and VARIABLE 13), the chosen city, in 2011, was Metz, located in the department of Moselle, in the northeast of the country.
This great national philatelic event was held at the Centre des Congrès, from June 10th to 13th 2011. It was organized by l'Amicale philatélique de Metz, and its president Jean-Jacques Metz.

On Sunday June 12th, the 84th congress of the French Federation of Philatelic Associations brought together representatives of 623 philatelic associations comprising the F.F.A.P. About 250 collections, grouped in 16 different exhibition classes, competed in the Championnat de France de philatélie. The SAMOLUX'11 was also held in Metz on these days. This is the ninth event of the interregional stamp exhibition bringing together collectors from Saarland (Germany), Moselle (France) and Luxembourg.

The organization scheduled various activities, lectures and sightseeing for visitors and guests. Young people could participate in the workshop to introduce them to stamp collecting, or they could decorate Graoully with stamps. (Graoully is the Metz legendary dragon - see the picture below, at left). During the 4 days, the volunteers of the Compagnie des Guides de la Philatélie offered free guided tours to the exhibition visitors. Among the exhibits was the so-called 'Lettre de la paix', a registered radioactive letter, recovered in 1944 after the Hiroshima explosion.
The organization set up more than 60 stands for philatelic dealers. Different associations, such as l'Art du Timbre Gravé, UFPP - SATA and the TAAF postal administration and institutions, also participated in the Metz exhibition, with a small polar-themed exhibition, and L'ADRESSE Musée de la Poste.

La Poste released different postal and philatelic products, including the Metz stamp and a new vignette LISA. The F.F.A.P. also released its usual block with no postal value, and the organization prepared some philatelic souvenirs using the Metz issues.

The Metz stamp design is by Claude Andréotto. Since the Nancy congress in 2005, the stamps issued on the occasion of the F.F.A.P. congresses have included an attached commemorative label or vignette with no postal value. In this case, the group shows 3 of the main monuments of the city, the Cathedral of Saint-Etienne, the Temple Neuf and, in the vignette, the Porte des Allemands, a vestige of the old medieval walls. This same building also appears in the first day postmark, also designed by Claude Andréotto.

The ATM commemorates the centennial of the inauguration of the Hôtel des Postes, the Metz main post office. The design is by the painter and illustrator Stéphane Humbert-Basset.

The Metz hôtel des Postes is a neo-roman building built in front of the Gare between 1907 and 1911, by architects Jürgen Kröger, Ludwig Bettcher and Gustav Petrich. The building, as well as other buildings in the neighbourhood of the train station ('Quartier impérial'), were born from the will of the German Emperor Wilhelm II to germanize the city after its annexation in 1870.

3 different special postmarks were available from the La Poste temporary post office. The first day of issue postmark for the Metz stamp (shown above), the SAMOLUX philatelic exhibition postmark (depicted at the beginning of the article) and another dedicated to the 84th F.F.A.P. congress. This one includes a geometric design reproducing the rose window in the facade above the main entrance to the hôtel des Postes, so it is certainly more appropriate to use it with the ATM issue.

Phil@poste produced a total of 100,000 self-adhesive labels with this design. Its characteristics are similar to other issues, although the labels are manufactured for use in the 4 Monétel - LISA 1 distributors using normal paper - not thermal, and mechanical printing, using black ink. They were installed next to La Poste temporary post office.

The Monétel machines continue with the same settings and configuration. Only the postal rates have been updated, so it is possible to obtain ATMs with 3 different prefixes, in addition to stamps with only the face value. In Metz, the basic set was made up from the 4 values E 0.53 EUR - 0.58 EUR - P 0.75 EUR & LETTRE 0.95 EUR, corresponding to the basic rates for economic domestic mail (E), priority domestic mail (without prefix), high-priority mail to Europe (P), and high-priority domestic mail for letters above 20 g. (LETTRE).
By mistake, one of the 4 Monétel distributors was not programmed with a minimum face value, so only during the morning of June 10th, until the officials realized the mistake, it was possible to obtain ATMs from this machine with any face value from 0.01 EUR (top image)

E - Inland post Economique / Ecopli Inland post Prioritaire
P - International Priority mail - Prioritaire LETTRE - Inland letters above 20 g.

One of the reasons for the large printing for this type of issue (100,000 labels compared with the 20 or 30,000 for thermal issues), is that the Monétel distributors can provide receipts, printed on a matching self-adhesive label, identical to those used for the ATMs. This involves a higher consumption of labels, as collectors using these distributors usually request a receipt. If the user buys one ATM, the machine issues a single receipt, but if the user buys more than one ATM, the Monétel distributor issue two receipts, one with a list of stamps issued and another with the total amount paid. The texts are in the language selected by the user, French, English, German or Spanish.


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This page was created in June 2011
and last updated:  29.06.11 . English edition rewritten by S. Goodman (28.06.2011)