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 Language Tips > 2004
Updated: 2004-05-11 01:00

Cyprus or Crete? Stamp seems to blur EU map

塞浦路斯还是克里特岛? 欧盟地图邮票惹麻烦

Ireland, current president of the European Union, has issued a postage stamp which appears to confuse new EU-member Cyprus with the Greek holiday island of Crete.

The stamp shows a map of the enlarged EU with the old member states colored blue and the new states in yellow.

Cyprus is positioned just south of Greece and looks suspiciously like Crete in shape. It is longer and thinner than the real Cyprus and has a rectangular bump on the bottom of it, just like the Greek island.

"The shape is closer to that of Crete than Cyprus although, to be fair, the designer does seem to have taken some artistic license with the other countries too," said Peter Geoffrey, a Dublin philatelist.

"I suppose it might be a little insulting if you were from either Crete or Cyprus."

The Irish Post Office insisted on May 6 there had been no mistake but conceded the designers had to move Cyprus from its position in the eastern Mediterranean to fit it on the stamp.

"There is no way they could have left Cyprus where it was," a spokeswoman said. "It's quite a crowded stamp as it is.

"This is not meant to be a "to-scale" map of the EU," she added. "It's like an image taken through a photographer's fish-eye lens. I know some people are saying it looks like Crete but it's not. It is quite definitely Cyprus."










president: 主席国
suspiciously: 猜疑地
rectangular: 矩形的
bump: 肿块,这里指隆起的部分
license: (画家、艺术家、作家等在艺术上的)破格,打破常规
philatelist: 集邮家
Post Office: 邮电部
be meant to: 必须
fish-eye lens: 鱼眼镜头(超广角镜头)


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