POST Luxembourg and India Post have jointly issued a special stamp to celebrate the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Luxembourg and India this year.
Diplomatic relations between these two countries date to 1 July 1948. Various visits and high-level exchanges have since helped deepen relations over the years, with several Luxembourg companies having set up shop in India and vice versa. In 2022, the Grand Duchy was the fifteenth largest foreign direct investor in India. Interpersonal connections have also grown over the years, with almost 4,000 Indian nationals currently living in Luxembourg.
On Wednesday 14 March 2023, both countries concurrently issued a special stamp to celebrate these 75 years of friendship. The chosen motifs for this stamp were two sculptures by the late Amar Nath Sehgal, an Indian artist and long-time Luxembourg resident, who passed away in 2007. Amar Nath Sehgal set up his studio in Luxembourg in the late 1970s and lived and worked between the Grand Duchy and India until the early 2000s. One of his best known works is his bronze bust of Mahatma Gandhi, which was commissioned by a Luxembourg philanthropist and installed in the Municipal Park in Luxembourg City in 1973. After the original bust was stolen in 1980, the artist donated an original copy in 1982, on the 113th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.
The works featured on the stamp are “Friends”, a bronze sculpture of two close friends having a conversation, and “Flute player”, which represents the spirit of Krishna, the god of love and joy. The former has become a symbol of Luxembourg and India’s blossoming friendship over the years. The latter was created in 1958 in a series of five and has featured in private and public art collections, including Luxembourg’s National Museum of History and Art (MNHA).
To commemorate this 75th anniversary and the joint issuance of this special stamp, two concurrent events took place in Luxembourg and India on Wednesday. POST Luxembourg hosted the Luxembourg event at its headquarters, whilst the India event, organised by the Embassy of Luxembourg in New Delhi, took place at the Amar Nath Sehgal Private Collection museum in New Delhi. The events were linked via a streaming platform. The one in New Delhi featured a musical recital by two musicians who had composed pieces especially for this event. Several POST Luxembourg representatives were present at the Luxembourg event, as was a representative of Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and Amar Nath Sehgal's son, Raman Sehgal, who received a framed copy of the stamp; in India, there were speeches by representatives of the Embassy of India, two government ministers and the museum curator.
Speaking to Chronicle.lu about the simultaneous events, Raman Sehgal, who is based in Luxembourg, said: “It was a wonderful event to mark the 75 years of diplomatic relations between India and Luxembourg.”
This special stamp is now available in Luxembourg from POST Philately. Local artist Anne Mélan designed the Luxembourg version of the stamp (featuring French writing), whilst India Post took care of the Indian version (featuring Hindi writing).