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Another postcard site

Author elsslots
#1 | Posted: 3 Sep 2011 00:26 | Edited by: elsslots 
Very impressive collection of postcards of all 936 WHS. By Iñigo Cía from Spain.

Author Solivagant
#2 | Posted: 3 Sep 2011 02:00 | Edited by: Solivagant 
An amazing collection to get it "complete" - and so soon after this year's added sites. I couldn't even get a postcard of Abomey when I was there -and we weren't allowed to take photos - partly to "protect the Postcard monopoly" we were told!!
I wonder if the Gough Island example is actually a postcard - it is certainly a photo of the S African Weather station

Author elsslots
#3 | Posted: 3 Sep 2011 07:38 
is actually a postcard

I've got a few doubts myself also, especially Spiennes & Kuk

Author elsslots
#4 | Posted: 3 Sep 2011 07:47 
The Camino de Santiago collection on his website is also worth browsing!

Author meltwaterfalls
#5 | Posted: 3 Sep 2011 19:55 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
A nice collection to to have a flick through
I've got a few doubts myself also
I'm not sure what to make of them. I think that the fact that some are so obscure may even be in their favour. I mean if you are going to invent a postcard about the Struve Geodetic Arc you would probably do a better job than mocking up this one: vegeodetica-3.html

I think I will give him the benifit of the doubt, but I'm not sure where the Spieinnes one would come from as I don't remember there being any form of shop.

Author Solivagant
#6 | Posted: 6 Sep 2011 03:39 | Edited by: Solivagant 
A few more "anomalies!

Interesting to compare these photos of
Rio Platano
a. From the Gallery section of the UNESCO Web site First photo - its copyright is said to be held by UNESCO and a Marc Patry as employee.
b. From the Post Card Web site honduras-1982-rio.html
a. From the Gallery section of the UNESCO Web site . Second photo - its Copyright owner is not named on the UNESCO Web site.
b. From the Post Card Web site cameroon-1987-dja.html . Note that some "Photoshop clouds" have appeared in this version c.f. that on the UNESCO site which is rather "drab" for a "wish you were here" greeting!!

Interesting also that the Dja Postcard states in English "Dja Faunal Reserve" when it isn't situated in the small English speaking area of Cameroon and, as the first of the UNESCO site photos shows, the park is clearly called the "Réserve de Faune du Dja" both locally and in the country. I know that some countries offer the same card design in different languages. Maybe that is worthwhile for some frequently visited sights receiving multiple visitors from other countries but in Cameroon for a site which receives very low numbers of visitors??

A similar issue arises with this postcard of Lope-Okanda in Gabon - gabon-2007-lope-okanda.html . I have been there but can't of course categorically state what all the postcards were like (in fact I can't remember any on sale) but it is perhaps surprising to see a card which states in English "Greetings from Gabon" (an interesting choice of phrase!!!) from a country which is very Francophone and shows what appears to be a photo of birds on a sandbank in a park whose terrain is not of that type and which is primarily famous for Lowland Gorillas!

This postcard of Sgang Gwaay is also surprising. canada-1981-sgang-gwaay.html . Every photo I have ever seen of Sgang Gwaay shows a number of the many "Mortuary Poles" at the village of Ninstints. They are, after all, what the site is famous for - yet this postcard is of a rock somewhere on a beach!

On a slightly separate matter this card of the "Valley of the Lower Awash" is actually of the Awash National Park which is not connected with the palaeontological site (Lucy etc) which is well outside the park boundaries ethiopia-1980-awash-np.html . But, even if he doesn't know the details of all sites this WHS postcard collector has generally done a good job of correctly identifying the separate locations within an inscribed site – viz this card of the Camino Real which is of a less well known location slipped in by Mexico to "illustrate" the supposed pre-colonial aspects of the "road" for trading purposes mexico-2010-camino.html

I should make it clear that I am not "accusing" the collector of doctoring the cards. I don't know how the world wide "Postcard Trading Market" works but there must be an incentive from manufacturers and others to create apparently bona fide cards from either generic or pirated images. When I corrected the Collins WHS book the other year I was surprised at the extent of the "stock photo" market, the wrong assignment of those photos to specific locations and also of the use of "generic" photos of tigers, buffalo, gorillas, trees etc which almost certainly weren't taken at the site specified!!

We of course have our "problems" over when to count a WHS and I presume that Postcard Collectors have to make their own subjective "rules" as well. I would have thought that a card ought to have been on sale at (or even, for the "purists", used/sent from) the site it represents or anyone could/would create "Postcards" of anything and everything from any available photo in a postcard format which makes the concept of a "postcard" virtually meaningless -they would just be another "printed" photo!!

I did e-mail Senor Cia with a question of genuine interest about how there came to be a postcard of Gough Island and if he knew where it had been "on sale" etc. I also pointed him at this site as a location for information exchange on WHS matters - but with, as yet, no reply.

PS Inigo Cia has replied to me this afternoon (Tuesday) -apparently he had problems posting on the forum - I copy his reply below.

Author Solivagant
#7 | Posted: 6 Sep 2011 11:17 | Edited by: Solivagant 
POSTED ON BEHALF OF Inigo Cia - in response to the above comments.

"Hello folks,
I am Inigo Cia, the postcards collector. I am sad to read all your critics, because it seems you know very much about postcard collecting...
Anyway, I will tell you that in my collection I have many many postcards and of course some are original (more than 99%) and some other are private prints or postcards edited by particular people (other collectors for example). But all of them are postcards, not photos. I only collect postcards, no photos. So I only accept if the photos are made on postcard, not if they are photos.
For instance, the cards from Abomey, Sgang Gwaay and Spiennes are original cards. Cards bought in the shops and in country of origin. I bought it many years ago (I mostly buy through Internet, ebay and e-shops), so I don't remember where, but I can assure they are real comercial postcards (touristic bought in country of origin).
Other cards like Gough island are also regular postcards edited by a postcard collector in Czech Republic. Many postcards are not edited in the country shown on the front of the card, but in any other country where there is a postcard editor.
For example, in Australia there is a postcard editor which edit postcards from many of the different Unesco WHSites all over the world, many of photos sending for buyers...
And finally there are a little number of cards which are postcards edited by some particupar person, like a collector or so. I don't know if they take the photo legally or not. I don't make business with postcards, that's just my hobby, so I don't know if the postcards where edited with copyright or not. Kuk, Stuve Geodetic Arc, Rio Platano, Dja or Lope Okanda I guess are private prints made by collectors through private postcards printing companies with very few amount of them. So now they are postcards made out of photos. You can be sure I am not the editor for those cards, I just traded/swap with other people to get them.
I would like to heard that you liked my collection, but I think you didn't, so it is sad because I have been collecting many many years ago, since I was very young and I have make several exhibitions with much success. Other collectors know it and appreciate it a lot.
Anyway, I hope I answer most of your questions.
Best regards,
Iñigo Cia.-"

Hi Ignio - I think our Webmaster has been having problems with people "spamming" in the Web site and has therefore made it necessary for you to deal with her direct in order to register yourself as a new "forum poster" - I am sure she would do this if you want- just use the contact form!!
I am sorry you are "sad" in thinking that we don't "like" your "collection"! Actually we said it was "Very impressive", "amazing", "A nice collection" and "this WHS postcard collector has generally done a good job of correctly identifying the separate locations" !! What more do you want from those of us who aren't postcard collectors!! We don't of course understand the "niceties" of postcard collection and I certainly wasn't aware that any kind of editing or "creating" would be allowed. You need to bear in mind that we are pretty experienced in the problems of defining World heritage sites (knowing what is included and what is not)and in the problems (and pleasures!!) of getting to them. We naturally look at every supposed "photo" of a site from the point of view of "do I remember that?" and "is it really inside the boundaries or even of the right place?.

Presumably you want to ensure that your postcards really are of where they say they are and should welcome our comments! I personally don't find much merit in a postcard created by another collector from a photo they have taken off the Web -the photo might as well stay there and be referenced. I DO find merit and interest in a postcard which was genuinely on sale in the country concerned, and, even better on sale and sent from the actual site!! Lots of your postcards seem to meet these criteria - unfortunately it isn't always clear which.

It was nice to hear that the Abomey and Spiennes cards were fully genuine and i can fully accept that - I am still somewhat sceptical about the Sgang Gwaay one as it seems so unrelated to the merits of the site.

I have only been within 5-10 kms of Kuk (it is near Mt Hagen airport and I have flown in to/ out of there) - from what I know of the terrain it seems quite likely to me that the Kuk postcard is just a mock up of any old PNG grass hut rather than of Kuk itself. I have seen photos of the Kuk archaeological dig in the museum at Goroka and the land didn't really look like that shown on your postcard. Also look at the photos on the UNESCO site . Kuk is a flat marshland. I may be wrong but surely debate is of interest??

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