It is customary for every government in France to redesign the stamp that depicts the image of Marianne, an allegory for the values of liberty and reason. In this case, President Francois Hollande unveiled an intriguing choice that will be available in post offices on July 16.
Marianne is one of the most prominent symbols of the French Republic. The official busts of Marianne initially had anonymous features, appearing as women of the people. From 1969, however, they began to take on the features of famous women, and have included actress Brigitte Bardot, Inès de la Fressange and, Laetitia Casta.
On the occasion of the celebration of Bastille Day on July 14th in Paris, President Hollande showed the new Marianne for the first time to the public. The new graphic is designed by the duo of David Kawena-Olivier Ciappa who confirmed that, while they took features from a mix of different female faces, their main inspiration was Inna Shevschenko, founder of the feminist protest group FEMEN. The artists stated that their Marianne wishes to be a symbolic message of equality and parity, essential values of modern-day France, while also including an international and timeless look using elements of the Renaissance in the hands, and comic book realism in the eyes.
Engraved by Elsa Catelin, the new stamp called « Marianne et la jeunesse» or Marianne and youth, includes the image of children playing.