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Stamp issue celebrating 1,000 years of church art

Stamp issue celebrating 1,000 years of church art
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Churches are an important part of Swedish cultural heritage. Using the Diocese of Skara's 1,000 year anniversary as the starting point, cultural objects in churches from the Middle Ages to the 21th century are being recognized on five stamps.

Today the churches constitute a cultural heritage that needs to be recognized more than ever before. The churches and the objects of art they contain are a natural aspect of a visitor's experience, and are sometimes even self-evident.

"I believe the stamps can play a role here in terms of promoting rediscovery of the country's thousands of church interiors, which together constitute a large and vibrant museum," says Ingrid Sjöström who is an associate professor of art history and who has headed an inventory project on Swedish churches for the Swedish National Heritage Board for many years.

Music is a natural part of the cultural heritage in churches. Organs are traditionally associated with church interiors, and the 18th century organ from Askeryd Church in the Diocese of Linköping is depicted on one of the stamps.

Candle holders made their first appearance in Sweden in Uppsala Cathedral in 1968 in conjunction with a large ecumenical meeting – which has also been recognized with a stamp. The candle holder in the shape of a ship from 2001 in Torsåkers Church in the Diocese in Härnösand is the motif for one of the stamps.

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