12/17/2019, 10:45 AM CET

Beethoven Year 2020: Deutsche Post presents special stamp to mark Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th anniversary in a record first issue

Ludwig van Beethoven often signed letters and scores using the "BTHVN" abbreviation, which is printed on the stamp in a special "metallic silver" color.

The stamp, which will be issued by the German Federal Ministry of Finance, was designed by Thomas Steinacker, stamp designer at Deutsche Post.

  • Beethoven special stamp to be released on January 2nd
  • First day postmark available at the special Deutsche Post retail outlet in the Beethoven-Haus museum in Bonn
  • "BTHVN on Tour" exhibition on show during the Beethoven Festival 2020 in Bonn 
  • Wide range of activities planned for Beethoven Year 2020

Bonn - On January 2, the 80 cent Beethoven anniversary stamp will be released in a record first issue of 626 million copies – the highest first issue in the history of Deutsche Post AG. The stamp, which will be issued by the German Federal Ministry of Finance, was designed by Thomas Steinacker, stamp designer at Deutsche Post. The special stamp marking the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven pays tribute to the composer and marks the Beethoven 2020 commemorative year. The stamp pictures a stylized version of the famous Beethoven portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, a musical clef and the lettering “250 Jahre BTHVN” (250 Years of Beethoven). Ludwig van Beethoven often signed letters and scores using the “BTHVN” abbreviation, which is printed on the stamp in a special “metallic silver” color.

Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group, Malte Boecker, Director of the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Monika Grütters, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Ashok-Alexander Sridharan, mayor of Bonn, and Thomas Steinacker, stamp designer at Deutsche Post.

"We deliberately chose a contemporary design rather than a historic one for the anniversary stamp," says Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group. "As the world's most widely played classical composer, Beethoven is more relevant today than ever. His 'Ode to Joy' is the official anthem of a united Europe. Beethoven was a true cosmopolitan, and even during his lifetime his compositions connected people worldwide. At Deutsche Post DHL Group, more than half a million employees work every day to connect people and improve their lives. With the travelling exhibition 'BTHVN on Tour' we already reached people in different places all around the world this year, raising awareness for the special anniversary year. Now, we make it possible for each and every one to send letters with Beethoven's portrait."

The anniversary stamp

For the first day issue on January 2, 2020 Deutsche Post will be opening a special retail outlet in the Beethoven-Haus museum in Bonn where the coveted first-day postmark can be secured between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The self-adhesive first issue set and the wet-adhesive sheet of ten will also be released that day. A 100-stamp box will also be available for business customers from March 2. Deutsche Post is also promoting the anniversary internationally: In a collaborative initiative with the Beethoven-Haus museum in Bonn, postal companies around the world have been called upon to design their own Beethoven stamps using the BTHVN logo to mark the anniversary year. More than a dozen postal companies have responded to the call so far.

Long-standing support

Deutsche Post DHL Group has long supported organizations and projects dedicated to preserving Ludwig van Beethoven's legacy, among them Bonn's renowned annual Beethoven Festival, which will actually be held twice in the anniversary year. "Our corporate headquarters are located in Bonn, in Beethoven's birthplace, so we feel naturally inclined to honor the composer and the legacy he left behind," Frank Appel explains. "And that affinity extends beyond geographical proximity: Beethoven was an open-minded individual who broke new ground in the musical world. As a company where taking a global outlook and striving for innovation are key in all we do, we can identify with his way of thinking."

BTHVN 2020 activities planned

In addition to the special-issue stamp, Deutsche Post has planned a range of other activities to mark the Beethoven anniversary year. The main focus is on the "BTHVN on Tour" exhibition, which has been on the road for about a year now to draw the world's attention to the BTHVN 2020 commemorative year. It was developed by Deutsche Post DHL Group in cooperation with the Beethoven-Haus museum in Bonn. Using an excerpt from Beethoven's Diabelli Variations and with the help of specially produced facsimiles and digital animations, the exhibition illustrates the extremely complex process Beethoven went through from writing down a few notes to completing the finished score. In March 2020 the exhibition will leave London for the Opera House in Bonn where it will be part of the Beethoven Festival's "cycle of symphonies" before moving on to Warsaw in Poland.

Over the course of the BTHVN 2020 year, Deutsche Post DHL Group will use a wide range of activities to spread the 250th anniversary message: Delivery vehicles bearing the BTHVN 2020 logo will be out on the roads, a package dispatch set series will be released sporting Beethoven-related designs and the Post Tower will feature specially-programmed illuminations to honor Bonn's famous son. The Deutsche Post Marathon will also be flying the BTHVN 2020 motto in Bonn on April 26. And before the marathon gun goes off, Deutsche Post is waiving the entry fee for all runners who share the same birthday as Beethoven on December 17.

Hannah Braselmann

Topic: Corporate Responsibility, Refugee Initiative, Bonn Topics

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