The Spanish Civil War had a dramatic effect on the artist Pablo Picasso’s outlook on life. Not having previously been a man interested in politics, the 1936 Franco uprising in Spain was an event that dragged him out of this disinterest and made him a defender of peace and liberty. After he painted his famous response to the German bombing of the Basque village of Guernica in the north of Spain in 1937, Picasso became a symbol not only of anti-fascism but specifically a symbol of the opposition to fascism by artists and intellectuals.

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In this second part of the story we provide an analysis of the song Bohemian Rhapsody.

Freddie Mercury never really gave a clear explanation about the meaning of the song’s lyrics. The text contains many philosophical and religious elements. According to one of the many theories Bohemian Rhapsody was inspired by the 18th Century book Faust by the German literary writer Goethe in which the main character makes a pact with the devil.

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The 2018 football World Cup held in Russia was a great success and it was wonderful to see countries with relatively tiny populations doing so well in the competition.The host nation also competed well, achieving their best results since finishing fourth in 1966.

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While Orville and Wilbur Wright are generally considered to have been the first to complete a powered and controlled aircraft flight it is also generally accepted that the aeroplane was the invention of Sir George Cayley in 1799 at Brompton, near Scarborough in Yorkshire, England.

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In the late 1970s a fascinating series of articles written by Mr. K. Kouwenberg about the history of Stamp Collecting, appeared in the Dutch magazine Philatelie. This series has been the source of inspiration for PostBeeld owner Rob Smit to rewrite the history of stamp collecting in instalments. This is Part 27.

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The man depicted on the stamp to the left, from the U.S.A., issued in 1985, is J.J. Audubon. You would never imagine the rather bland image of the man on the stamp could be linked to the wonderfully coloured works of art produced by him during his lifetime. John James Audubon was born in what was then the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) on April 26, 1785. When he was six-years-old he was sent to France, where he lived until 1803 – when he left for America. There he eventually became an ornithologist, naturalist, and painter.

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In 1955 Hungary became the first country in the world to issue a “metal” stamp. And below you see an example. Aluminium foil glued to paper was used in the production process.

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1Oscar de la Renta (seen above), who died in October 2014 aged 82, was one of the world’s leading fashion designers for more than 50 years. And his work has been commemorated by the United States Postal Service with a stamp series, to be released next month. Born in the Dominican Republic in 1932, de la Renta was apprenticed with Spanish Basque fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga, before moving to Paris to work at the fashion house Lanvin.

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Unusual-topicsWhat makes stamp collecting interesting for most people is the enormous, and sometimes strange, choice of topics chosen by countries/organisations when issuing stamps. Each year, the organisation PostEurop’s Stamps & Philately Working Group selects the EUROPA stamp theme. It is always very interesting to see what stamp designs for each year’s topic are printed by the participating countries’ postal authorities.

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New issued stampsDay after day new postage stamps are issued depicting a variety of topics. Here are some examples of recently issued stamps featuring a variety of topics.

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