The coming UEFA EURO 2008 will be the largest sports event ever held in Austria, and from 7 to 29 June 2008 the whole of Europe will be under the spell of "the most important triviality in the world", football. During this period, 16 teams will compete for the UEFA EURO Cup in eight different stadiums in Austria and Switzerland - a media event that is being used by countless enterprises to position themselves in the public eye by means of a variety of activities.
The Austrian Post Office is supporting and accompanying this hotly awaited event as national sponsor. Part of the wide variety of activities that have been planned well in advance is the issue of truly extraordinary commemoratives that will delight not only the worldwide band of philatelists but also the (naturally much larger) group of football fans. The aim of these considerations is to achieve a broader awareness of the stamp as a product in general.
The new children's drawings series is the result of an Austria-wide drawing competition held by the Post Office in cooperation with the provincial schools inspectorates. Children and young people from the seventh grade upwards were invited to participate in this competition and produce creative works on the topic of the European Football Championships. Thousands of pupils produced their ideas as part of art classes and created designs for a stamp, hence for a work of art that will literally be seen around the world. In a complex and multi-stage selection procedure, a jury of experts finally selected the best works which are now decorating this "refreshingly young" stamp series. The important topics of young people, art, sport, stamps and internationality were combined in a most exciting manner in this large-scale competition, and, without exaggeration, the result is sensational: countless works reflect the broad range of originality and the creative potential of the young people - a fact that was certainly reinforced by the motivation of perhaps seeing one's own painting ultimately being "eternalized" on a stamp.
The design of the first stamp in this series was created by 19-year-old Corina Payr from Ebreichsdorf in Lower Austria. She is a pupil of the senior grammar school in Eisenstadt, and her work "Footballing Europe" is an ambitious and original representation of the topic.
Release Date: 4 February 2008