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In July 2024, an event called MARE BALTICUM 2024, or the International Philatelic Exhibition, will take place at the Estonian National Museum. The event organizer, Oliver Hanschmidt, explains what it is and why it is necessary.

Estonia can proudly announce that MARE BALTICUM is back. We currently need this connection and sense of unity more than ever. The first international stamp exhibition of this kind took place almost 30 years ago in November 1993 in Tallinn. This laid the foundation for philatelic cooperation among Baltic Sea countries. Following that, an exhibition took place in Mariehamn, ÅLAND 1995, and then in 1997 in Kalmar, Sweden. It seemed to work, and the exhibition was held every two years in different Baltic Sea countries. However, the exhibition series was soon put on hold for six years. Mare Balticum reappeared only in 2003 in Kiel, Germany. The last Mare Balticum took place two years later in 2005 in Åland.

Having been the Estonian commissioner at the IBRA philatelic world exhibition in Germany in May of this year, I felt the desire to organize an exhibition in Estonia in 2024. This would provide an opportunity to showcase high-level philately in Estonia. The initial plan was to create an Estonia/Germany friendship exhibition. However, friends suggested thinking bigger, leading us to Mare Balticum, which has not taken place for over 18 years. We would like to revive this exhibition series. This might be the last chance for those who contributed to the organization of the exhibition in 1993 to revisit such an event. In 2024, Tartu, along with Southern Estonia, is also the European Capital of Culture, attracting a large number of enthusiasts to the region for various events.

So far, many have supported the organization of the exhibition and wished success for the return of Mare Balticum. The organizers have established the Marebalticum NGO. Currently, over 120 of the planned 500 frames for the exhibition have been booked, making up almost 25% of the total, which is a significant achievement. It is common practice that 85-90% of reservations come in the week before the deadline, which is February 29, 2024. The participation of each country’s commissioner, who represents the philatelic works of their country’s exhibitors, is also of great help. Today, all Baltic Sea countries have promised to participate: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Additionally, invited countries include Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The exhibition will take place from July 26 to 28, 2024, at the Estonian National Museum.

This event is not only an exhibition but also a place where stamps, envelopes, and postcards can be bought, sold, and exchanged. In addition to these, collectors can purchase collecting accessories for three days from the SAFE sales booth: stamp albums, albums for envelopes, plastic pockets, parchment pockets, tweezers, clamp pockets, signoscopes, stamp presses, and much more essential philatelic equipment.

You can find the official bulletin in PDF format here. You can also find contacts for registering as a participant in the event. Don’t be late, or worse, don’t miss it!

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