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Green 'Marianne' brings climate crisis to French letterboxes


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Green 'Marianne' brings climate crisis to French letterboxes

by AFP Staff Writers
Boulazac, France (AFP) Nov 7, 2023
A green version of national symbol Marianne will adorn French envelopes from this month, after President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a new standard postage stamp highlighting environmental themes.

The "Marianne of the future" represents the feminine symbol -- whose image can be seen in public buildings such as town halls across France, or as a monumental statue on Paris' Place de la Republique -- in profile, with her hair merging into a verdant background.

Graphic designer Olivier Balez said he wanted to "share in the narrative about the climate emergency, without falling into stoking anxiety".

"It's a Marianne of the green transition, with her long neck along the diagonal symbolising momentum towards the future," he told AFP.

Macron was present at the French postal service's printing works in the Dordogne region of southwest France to unveil the new stamp.

But he also hailed the post office's "transformation" in the face of "immense challenges with all the changes in habits in our time".

The publicly-owned postal service made 70 percent of its revenue from letters just 15 years ago, a figure that has collapsed to just 16 percent today, chief executive Philippe Wahl said.

Around 400 staff at France's postal print works in Boulazac, 110 kilometres (70 miles) east of Bordeaux, still turn out almost a billion stamps a year.

Many are manufactured for other countries such as Japan.

By tradition, each five-year French presidential term sees the head of state pick a new standard stamp.

The new one will be available from November 13.

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