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Uk Lushi juniku at
Mon Apr 17 15:22:29 EDT 2000


By Uk Lushi

On March 14, The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosova 
(UNMIK) issued a set of five postage stamps for local use in Kosova region 
administered by U.N. peacekeepers.

The five Peace in Kosova stamps are denominated in the German currency that 
is most widely in the U.N. zone. The trilingual stamps are inscribed 
"Peace," and "United Nations Interim Administration in Kosova," in English, 
Albanian and Serbian.

All five stamps were designed by the Albanian artist from Kosova Shyqri 
Nimani to represent aspects of the cultural and historical heritage of 

The 20-pfenning stamp shows a piece of 5th- or 6th- century mosaic 
portraying the poet Orpheus, found in Podujeve area, where it had been part 
of the flooring of an ancient house.

The 30-pfenning stamp shows the Dardanian idol, a figurine in the Museum of 
Kosova dated to 3,500 B.C., among oldest evidence of human settlement in 

The 50-pfenning stamp pictures a 4th- century B.C. silver coin from the 
Illyrian town of Damastion, in what is today's Kosova.

The 1- Deutsche Mark stamp shows a silver statue in Prizeren of Mother 
Theresa, Albanian-born nun whose charitable work all over the world won the 
Nobel Peace Prize.

The 2DM value stamp features a map of Kosova, a collage to represent "sites 
of destruction, reconstruction, industrial wealth, natural beauty and 
cultural heritage."

France's La Poste produced the stamps in sheets of 40. The perforated stamps 
measure 30 mm by 40 mm.

The stamps for Kosova are not a surprise to the UNPA (U.N. Postal 
Administration). As early as December 13 of last year, a U.N. speech on the 
accomplishments of the UNMIK noted, "Soon we'll have Kosova postage stamps 
and a functioning post system." In a January 26 U.N. press release in the 
Kosova capital of Prishtina, the head of UNMIK, Bernar Kouchner, observed 
"that Kosova postage stamps are printed and about to be shipped here from 

UNMIK has opened 80 of 130 Kosova post offices with staff funded by the 
European Agency for Reconstruction. The Agency will donate 60 vehicles to 
the Kosova Postal Service this month.

International use of the stamps was approved by the Universal Postal Union. 
First-day covers were placed on sale in post offices at Prishtina, Ferizaj, 
Prizren, Gjakova, Peja, Mitrovica and Gjilan.

The stamps shown here were obtained from the International Peacekeeper's 
Mail home page of the U.N. and NATO Military Mail Study Group, located at:

Outside Kosova, collectors are being told that they can order stamps and 
FDCs from UNPA in New York, Geneva or Vienna, or through their local stamp 

According to a March 14 Reuters news report, the Serb- dominated rump state 
of Yugoslavia regards the stamps as infringing on its sovereignty and 
usurping its rights. Kosova is now a U.N. Protectorate. Its control was 
taken from so-called Serbian security forces last year after heavy fighting 
between the Kosova Liberation Army and the Serb forces, the expulsion of 
more than one million Albanian from their country and 78-days of NATO 

To view the Kosova stamps at a U.N. site on the Internet, go to:

(End of text)
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