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Kielce postmark with a changeable date

Postmark issued by the city of Kielce was the forerunner for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship. It counted down days before the final match of the event You can find it on www.kzp.pl website and verify when it was used. (pct.1) The website says it was used between 06.10.2009 and 01.07.2012 during Euro 2012. The information provided on www.kzp.pl website is imprecise. The above mentioned dates were merely the dates which had been planned to be implemented.(*) The actual storyline was the following:

Attention, article also available in Polish:
Datownik kielecki ze zmienną datą na Euro 2012

The postmark was inspired by Janusz Łojek, Polish Philatelic Club chairman in Świętokrzyskie Region (PZF is a Polish abbreviation for Polski Związek Filatelistyczny). The idea was supported by Robert Pawłowski, the manager of ORJ Kielce. The postmark was designed by Adam Kowalewski, an artist. It was used by Mirosława Woś at a philatelic stand in Kielce (see Filatelista no. 5/2012). The countdown started 1000 days before the final match, i.e. 06.10.2009 (pct. 2).

According to the plan, every day the remaining number of days before the final match was reduced by one. During the countdown, on 30.11.2011 a card referring to the football championship was issued. It allowed for people to arrange a nice postal stationery, cancelled 100 days before the final match (pct.3).

Everything went smoothly according to the plan. However, mid-April 2012 a scandal around EURO 2012 stamp issue broke. Out of the blue, Polish Ministry of Administration and Digitization changed the stamp issue plan for 2012. The Ministry decided to cancel stamp issue for EURO 2012 and justified their decision in the following way:

"The below mentioned change in stamp issuing for 2012 excludes EURO 2012 from the plan. The change was requested by Polish Post (Poczta Polska) due to certain complications which arose during the execution phase. Polish Post faced the threat of breaching exclusive UEFA property rights. Had Polish Post used graphic designs for stamps proposed at the time, they would have risked incurring financial losses and damage to their brand image. Polish Post might have been accused of parasitic marketing. There had been a few attempts to solve the problem. However, due to UEFA exclusive property rights, it wasn’t possible. Moreover, in the given circumstances, Ukrainian Post withdrew from the joint stamp issuing for EURO 2012."

You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. The above mentioned story affected Kielce postmark as well. It was withheld. The last day when it was used was 19.04.2012, i.e. 73 days before the final match. You can see an envelope which carries the last day’s date. The envelope is from my personal collection. (pct.4)

The decision of the Ministry of Administration and Digitization to withdraw all EURO 2012 related stamp issues affected also a postal stationery CP 1587. The unsold batch was destroyed and the circulation was allowed only until 30.04.2012.

Eventually, Polish Post reached an agreement with UEFA and barely managed to issue stamps for EURO 2012. Kielce postmark was not used anymore though. Summing up, the correct time span for Kielce postmark with a changeable date was between 06.10.2009 until 19.04.2012 (i.e. 1000 days before the final match until 73 days before the final match).

(*) Description on www.kzp.pl has been changed after the first publication of this article.

Attention, article also available in Polish:
Datownik kielecki ze zmienną datą na Euro 2012

English version: Anna Siarkiewicz

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