Tomorrow (December 2) sees the opening of MonacoPhil 2011, one of the major international philatelic events of the year, under the high patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. The Terrasses de Fontvieille event lasts three days.
This is an unmissable opportunity for philatelists to see and study stamps which would normally be far out of reach, as The Musée des Timbres et des Monnaies will display a selection of one hundred exceptional philatelic rarities from internationally renowned collections.
These include those of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, ten national postal museums and members of the Club de Monte-Carlo.
On December 2, the Office des Emissions de Timbres-Poste will issue a special commemorative sheet featuring a photograph of the marriage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco to Charlène Wittstock.
As an exclusive offer to MonacoPhil, a limited, numbered edition of this sheet and its non-perforated version will be sold in a presentation pack.
But this year something even more special is taking place:
ASCAT, the world-wide society of the leading publisher of catalogues, albums and magazines for stamp collectors, has chosen to award S.A.S Prince Albert II of Monaco the ASCAT Grand Prix, perhaps the most prestigious international philatelic award.
He will receive the ASCAT award at the Gala Dinner of the international MonacoPhil Exhibition on December 2.
For several years, the Prince has been an avid supporter of philately and stamp collecting. Once again he has agreed to be patron of MonacoPhil 2011, the well established biennial Exhibition of Philatelic World Rarities in Monaco organized by Club de Monte Carlo, the Office des Timbres-Poste de Monaco and the Musée des Timbres et des Monnaies de Monaco.
A Monegasque stamp depicting the Award, a glass sculpture specially created by the internationally recognized Swedish glass artist Hakan Gunnarsson, designed in the colours of the Principality of Monaco and the Grimaldi family, is issued to commemorate this event.
The last winner of the ASCAT Grand Prize was in 2009, when Bill Gross deservedly got the nod.We were at the event to see Charles Shreves accepting the award on his behalf.