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Banned Audrey Hepburn stamps sold for €430,000

The Local · 17 Oct 2010, 09:45

Published: 17 Oct 2010 09:45 GMT+02:00

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The stamps were printed in Germany nine years ago – without asking the permission of Hepburn’s son and heir Sean Hepburn Ferrer.

He refused retroactive permission as the picture showed his mother – who died of cancer – smoking a cigarette, and he felt the image was not terribly flattering as her eyes were hidden by a shadow.

At the time 14 million of them were printed, and had to be destroyed, yet a few were kept and found their way into the hands of collectors.

The set sold at the Adlon Hotel on Saturday belonged to Sean Hepburn Ferrer – he sold them to raise money for the UN children’s fund Unicef, and the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.

“It is simply marvellous that a set of stamps with a face value of 16 Marks can be auctioned for €430,000 in the end and will serve a good purpose,” he said.

Story continues below…

The set was bought by a bidder in the room who wished to remain anonymous.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:42 October 17, 2010 by maxbrando
Yawn. Another story about folks with more money than brains. What schlumps.
07:24 October 18, 2010 by vonSchwerin
What a hypocrite! In 2001 he found the image of his mother too unflattering to release the stamps for public use, but he is willing to sell them -- despite the unflattering image -- to raise money for his pet charity.

I applaud raising money for charity, but either the stamps are too poor to have them at large or they are not. Which is it, Mr. Ferrer?
09:52 October 18, 2010 by zaly

That is a good for UN children¦#39;s fund Unicef and the Audrey Hepburn Children¦#39;s Fund.
11:45 October 18, 2010 by stafusa
@vonSchwerin: not necessarily hypocrisy, it's quite different to have to have a few hidden in someone's collection, instead of millions of them circulating everywhere.
14:29 October 18, 2010 by moistvelvet
@stafusa it's not quite different at all unless of course he has now found 430,000 reasons why it is no longer an unflattering image.
20:53 October 18, 2010 by stafusa
Not that the news is worth the search and all the discussion, but ok...

What I've found about his words on the subject is

"In the original photo, she's got sunglasses hanging from her mouth, but they had flipped the negative and replaced the glasses with the cigarette holder" (The Associated Press).


And, again, unflattering or not, there are tons of images around with her smoking, so the point of her son really should have only been not to have one of them mass-distributed.
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