LA CANEA: CRETE ITALIAN P.O.
ITALIAN POST OFFICE IN CRETE 1900-1914 LA CANEA overprint is found on Italian stamps used in Crete between 1900 and 1914. Canea, the capital of Crete, was under Italian protection following the 1897 military intervention of the European superpowers. The military operation was aimed at preventing a conflict between Turkey and Greece. From 1899 to 1908 Crete, one of the larger islands of the Mediterranean, was under the joint protection of Britain, France, Russia and Italy. To rub in the status quo, the four occupying powers issued stamps for their respective areas. Austria also had post offices in Crete and between 1903 and 1914 issued distinctive stamps. On 10 July 1900, just 19 days before King Umberto I was assassinated, a 25c. depicting the Italian monarch and overprinted in red “1 PIASTRA 1” was issued for use at La Canea. A year later another 25c. stamp, this time depicting Umberto’s son, King Victor Emmanuel III, overprinted LA CANEA / 1 PIASTRA 1 was issued , followed (15 November 1906) by a set of 11 definitive stamps of Italy with a similar overprint. A special delivery stamp with the same overprint was issued 5 November and an additional 6 definitive stamps with LA CANEA overprint were issued between 1907 and 1912. The Italian post office was closed 31 December 1914. On 1 January 1915, following the 1913 Treaty of London, Crete was handed over to Greece. Until 1715 when it fell to the Turks, Crete formed part of the Venetian Republic. (by Giorgio Migliavacca ©)
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