By Giorgio Migliavacca
After a long absence from the top of the Asiago Award, San Marino has finally captured the 2018 Asiago Philatelic Art Grand Award for its 2017 miniature sheet saluting the first ever co-regency of the oldest republic by two women – Mimma Zavoli and Vanessa d’Ambrosio. The Captains Regent (Capitani reggenti) are the two heads of state of the Republic of San Marino. They are elected every six months by the Grand and General Council, the country’s legislative body. This was not the first time a female had been elected co-regent, the ground-breaking decision came in 1981 when Maria Lea Pedini made history – a gigantic step forward that has been celebrated philatelically by San Marino in 2016. After b r e a k i n g t h e barriers, females were elected to the top post no less than sixteen times. However, in 2017 another San Marino “first” made international headlines when Mimma and Vanessa were democratically elected co-regents. Ilaria Ruggeri, author of the miniature sheet design consisting of two €1 stamps, said that the pink hue joining the two stamps represents the mental energies of two women whose mandate is to lead the republic with a clear vision of the future. Gioia Giardi, executive manager of San Marino’s Philatelic and Numismatic Bureau, pointed out that this specific project was exclusively in the hands of women including, of course, the stamp designer and the mostly female staff of the Bureau whom she described as “women who love their job”. Jury members Franco Filanci, Gianantonio Stella, Gaetano Thiene, Maurizio Stella, Walter Forte and Luciano Varaschini congratulated San Marino for a well deserved victory. Gioia Giardi received the Asiago trophy signed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Gio Pomodoro. Following a well-established tradition, the 48th Asiago Award recognised other stamp issuing countries for their beautiful stamps advancing great causes. Austria captured the special award for its stamp enhancing the public awareness about environmental issues. The eye-catching 2017 Austrian stamp made with oak wood from the Breitenfurt forest near Vienna attracted this prestigious prize
because of the stamp “unprecedented and profound nexus with communicational themes and for the manner in which it was shaped and realized.” The medal of the President of the Italian Republic was presented to Austria’s Consul Ms.Isabelle Schonfeldt Kleemann. The tourism award went to Ireland for the philatelic celebration of the Urban Street, street art depicted on four stamps thatwere lauded for the spontaneity and high
standards of the designs .The award of the Olympic Academy of Vicenza, presided by Prof. Gaetano Thiene,
(who is also the Pro Tempore President of the Asiago International Award, organized by the 7 Highlands Communes Philatelic Club) was captured by Portugal forthe miniature sheet celebrating Pope Francis' visit on the centenary of the apparition of the Virgin of Fatima.
The creativity award presented by the Italian Academy of Philately and Postal History
went to Switzerland for the “selfie” stamp printed on a thin silver sheet. Here too
creativity goes hand in hand with innovation and new forms of communication.
The 48th edition of the Asiago Award was under the patronage of the Italian
President, Sergio Mattarella. Asiago is a popular tourist attraction nestled in the heart
of the Eastern Alps.