Heorhiy Narbut Prize

“Welcome” Souvenir Sheet Finishes on Top for 2005 Narbut Prize

Ukraine has many breathtakingly beautiful tourist sites, and a few of these were presented in a special Europa “Welcome to Ukraine” souvenir sheet. This very colorful release was also one of Ukraine’s most romantic to date, and it was not surprising when it won the prestigious Heorhiy Narbut Prize as the best-designed Ukrainian stamp of 2004.

S544The image on this Europa issue shows five different landscape scenes imbedded in a flowered headdress. Such wreaths, generally tied in the back with colorful ribbons, are worn by many Ukrainian women as part of their traditional folk attire. The four largest scenes appear in stamps of various denominations, while the fifth photo lies tucked into the lower left corner.

About the Tourist Sites

Since last year’s Europa theme centered on tourism, Ukraine Post decided to have its issue display some of Ukraine’s most renowned tourist destinations. The 45-kopiok value in the upper left shows the famous “Swallow’s Nest” castle in Crimea. This rather Gothic-looking structure, not far from Yalta, was completed in 1911 for a local noble and today is one of the most popular destinations on the peninsula.

The 2.61-hryven value in the upper center shows Khotyn Castle in Chernivtsi oblast (province). First built in the 13th century and subsequently expanded, the strategic site was frequently an object of conquest.

The image on the 75-kopiok stamp in the upper right shows a woodland scene with stream in the Carpathian Mountains of western Ukraine. This area is famed for its hiking, camping, and skiing venues.

The high-value 3.52-hryven stamp in the lower right depicts one of Ukraine’s most famous religious structures, the spectacular Monastery of the Caves in Kyiv. Founded in the mid-11th century, it became a leading center of learning in the Orthodox Church.

Finally, the image in the lower left is of a straw-thatched cottage as seen in an outdoor ethnographic museum. Such structures were still quite common in the early 20th century, but are becoming rare today.

The 2005 “Welcome to Ukraine” winner was the seventh souvenir sheet to receive the Narbut Prize in the past eight years. The design of the souvenir sheet was the work of Maria Heiko while the photography is by Yuriy Buslenko.

Other Top Vote Getters

S569-571Earlier this year the “Welcome to Ukraine” souvenir sheet placed third in the voting for best 2004 Europa stamp design among all of the special Europa issues created by European countries. However, for the Narbut Prize balloting, the issue finished head and shoulders above the rest of the competition receiving 19% of the votes. The battle for the next several places turned out to be a real dogfight. The “Ukrainian Folk Costumes” souvenir sheet ended up squeaking into second place with 9% of the ballots. The 2004 version of this ongoing series showed the attire and customs of Hutsul region of the Carpathian Mountains.

S562Coming in third with 8.5% of the votes were the stamps making up the History of the Ukrainian Army issue, which last year depicted medieval warriors and warfare. There was a three-way tie for fourth place: receiving 8% of the votes were four stamps showing “Bridges”, four stamps depicting “Kyiv Through Artists Eyes” and a souvenir sheet of “The Regalia of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky” . The hetmans were Cossack leaders of the 15th to the 18th centuries; Khmelnytsky led a successful revolt against the Poles in the mid 16th century, which resulted in an autonomous Hetman state that lasted for over a century.

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