Friday 13 December 2019

Artist makes clean breast of controversial stamp design with ‘censored’ bar

Photo: Cees van der Wel

A postage stamp design that was rejected because it showed too much of a woman’s breast has been approved after the artist pasted the word ‘censored’ over the offending area.

Artist Ap Kooistra and stamp dealer Cees van der Wel submitted the portrait of a blonde woman in a transparent blouse via PostNL’s website. The woman has the slogan ‘I love Den Helder’ tattooed over the top of her left breast.

However, PostNL said the design was a ‘provocative image’ as defined by the law on postal communications, which says stamps must not be offensive, insulting or immoral. It is understood that Kooistra’s work was turned down because the nipples were visible under the blouse.

Van der Wel described the controversy as ‘the nipplegate of Den Helder’ and resubmitted the portrait with a black strip and the word ‘Censuur’ covering the woman’s nipples. PostNL has now approved the design. has been free for 13 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
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