The exhibition PRAGA 2008, now under preparation, will follow up on the many years of tradition of international and world expositions that have shared the name of PRAGA. These exhibitions have always been not only a showing of a broad spectrum of excellent philatelic exhibits, but also an important social event. The organizing committee is attempting to prepare a high-quality exhibition for visitors with the most varied program possible, while making their stay in Prague and in this country as pleasant as possible.
PRAGA 2008 is mainly a philatelic exhibition. Covering a total of 2000 exhibition frames of 16 sheets, competition exhibits of traditional philately, postal history and one-frame exhibits will be presented. The organizing committee has already invited all philatelic unions that are members of the FIP. A pleasant surprise has been the considerable interest among non-European philately unions, which will undoubtedly contribute to a greater variety of presented philatelic documentation. Since interest in participation has traditionally exceeded the exhibition’s capacity, we expect that applicant exhibits will go through a rigorous selection process.
The philatelic literature class will not be limited with respect to volume, and visitors will have the opportunity of examining and possibly even studying in detail the exhibited literature in the lovely surroundings of the Postal Museum. The exhibition will also include literature in electronic format.
Traditionally, our exhibition has not failed to present exceptionally rare philatelic documents and specimens. In this connection, the organizing committee has already approached the curator of the Royal Philatelic Collection in England. We also expect the invitation of other unique collections to the Court of Honor.
Czech and Slovak stamp creations are a dignified continuation of the outstanding graphic quality of postage stamps from the former Czechoslovak. This is particularly evident from the reproductions of many important artworks from the rich cultural heritage of both countries. Both postal administrations are preparing interesting showings of their contemporary production for the PRAGA 2008 exhibit.
The presentation of philatelic literature in electronic format has already been mentioned. The organizing committee, however, also intends to give more room to a unique project – the virtual philatelic exhibit Exponet. Philatelists and other interested parties around the world will have the opportunity of viewing the exhibits of this virtual exhibition on the internet. The size of this exhibition is regularly expanded each week by one or two new exhibits. At the same time, the number of visitors to Exponet is also rising.
For visitors to the exhibition PRAGA 2008, the promotion of this virtual exhibit can serve as a source of plentiful information not only for their own collecting activities, but also for inspiration for the presentation of their own exhibits, as well as an appropriate opportunity for comparing of original documents with their electronic versions. It is also certain that the majority of visitors to traditional philatelic exhibitions never get the chance to look in detail at everything that interests them. Here they will have the opportunity to find out that they can thoroughly examine some exhibits even after the exhibition in the comfort of their own homes.
The exhibition’s program also has something for young visitors. A Youth Post program and other entertainment options will be organized for children, so that adults will have the peace and quiet they need in order to concentrate on viewing the presented exhibits. Visitors here will be able to view a national competitive showing of young exhibitors – Salon of Youth – held in parallel with the main exhibition. We believe that the Youth Post and the Salon of Youth will help attract new, young philatelists.
Within the framework of the auxiliary program of the exhibition, plans are under consideration for holding interesting events for the wives of visitors. The park facility within the Exhibition Grounds also provides many other opportunities.
At the Exhibition Grounds, the annual international fair Collector will be held in parallel with the competitive philatelic exhibition. Its popularity and size have been growing year by year, so many foreign dealers are already now expressing interest in participating at this fair specifically in connection with the exhibition PRAGA 2008, so we are already expecting record numbers of visitors and stands for the postal administrations of a wide variety of countries. The fair Collector is dedicated not only to philately and philatelists, but also to postcard collectors, numismatics and enthusiasts of other collectors’ fields.
World exhibitions on this scale are always important social and cultural events. Collectors from around the world meet there and establish new friendships. During our exhibition, expert philatelic seminars and meetings will take place.
The PRAGA 2008 exhibition has already been granted sponsorship by the AIJP (Association of International Philatelic Journalists). For this reason, a meeting of the members of that association will take place during the exhibition.
Prague and the entire Czech Republic are generally known and recognized as a cultural and historical center of Central Europe. The exhibition PRAGA 2008 can therefore become a good opportunity for visiting numerous important historical sites and the many cultural events held at the same time in the region. In Prague, for instance, you can visit various museums, the National Gallery, many exhibitions, concerts, theatrical and musical performances etc. Definitely worthy of attention, for example, is the permanent exhibit at the Alfons Mucha Museum. Mucha was an important representative of the art nouveau movement and was the creator of the first Czechoslovak stamp.
Visitors will also have the opportunity of taking advantage of one of the offers of travel agencies for excursions to many beautiful places in the Czech Republic, such as tours of interesting castles and palaces, or other opportunities for cultural and social enjoyment.
Just a few days after the finish of the exhibit PRAGA 2008, another international philatelic exhibition (WIPA) will begin in Vienna (in neighboring Austria), held under the sponsorship of the FEPA. For foreign visitors, and especially for those coming from overseas, this provides the opportunity of visiting two important, consecutively held philatelic events during a short period of time.
Those interested in both exhibitions can take a breather by taking in the various sightseeing opportunities en route from Prague to Vienna, visiting attractive recreation areas in the Czech Republic or seeking inspiration by visiting one of Moravia’s wine cellars. Those who are interested in the postal history of Bohemia and Moravia can also visit the branch of the Postal Museum in Vyšší Brod with its exhibit “The Post in Changing Times from the 16th Century to the Present.”