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World Fairytale Stamp Exhibition for young, young at heart

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The World Fairytale Stamp Exhibition, which showcases over 800 stamps from 60 countries and includes 30 classic fairytales, kicked off yesterday at Taipei Zhongshan Hall (中山堂).

Most of the stamps in the exhibition come from famous collector Chuang Yung-ming (莊永明). Chuang, also a writer, said he has been collecting stamps for over 60 years and has more than 100,000.

Chuang said collecting stamps makes him feel younger at heart. It also opens his eyes to extraordinary stamps from various corners of the world.

Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs official Lin Hui-fen (林慧芬) said this is the first global fairytale-themed stamp exhibition in Taiwan, adding that the fairytale stamps include 300 years of folktales and fairytales from around the world.

The cultural officials said the showroom is divided into eight zones: Britain and the U.S., Europe, Northern Europe, Russia, the Middle East, East Asia, Mandarin-speaking countries and Disney fairytales.

Officials said East Asia fairytales come mainly from Taiwan, mainland China, South Korea and Japan's local folktales, which were developed by word-of-mouth.

Officials added that a similar folktale has different representations on the stamps of different countries. The Chinese Valentine romantic legend was represented differently in Taiwan, China, Macau and South Korea.

Officials said the fairytale theme is popular among stamp-collection enthusiasts, as the stamps not only entail interesting stories, but characters and magic, as well as delicate and colorful paintings.

Exhibition stories include Alice in Wonderland, One Thousand and One Nights, Grimms' Fairytales, works by Hans Christian Andersen and the stories of Muumin, officials said, adding that the collection also contains a limited number of envelopes with special fairytale postmarks.

Apart from the fairytale stamps display, there is also a fairytale reading zone, an animation showroom, and an interaction zone for parents and children.

Postcards designed by Taiwanese illustrator Laima (賴馬) are available for purchase at the exhibition. Zhongshan Hall also set up a temporary post office on April 20, May 18 and June 22 for visitors to send postcards with specially designed postmarks for souvenirs.

The World Fairytale Stamp Exhibition is free-of-charge and lasts until June 23. Opening hours run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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