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.
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 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).
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.
© J. Jove - M. Sans. ATEEME. Variable value stamps study group. All rights reserved
This page was created in June 2011 and last updated: 29.06.11 . English edition rewritten by S. Goodman (28.06.2011)