Olympic Collectors Meet in Cologne, Despite Travel Hassles

(ATR) The show must go on at the 15th World Olympic Collector's Fair despite the volcanic ash cloud that is expected to keep about a third of the table holders away.

COLOGNE, GERMANY - MARCH 06:  Cologne's Dome stands in the aerial view on March 6, 2009 in Cologne, Germany.  (Photo by Vladimir Rys/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - MARCH 06: Cologne's Dome stands in the aerial view on March 6, 2009 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Vladimir Rys/Getty Images)

(ATR) The show must go on at the 15th World Olympic Collector's Fair despite the volcanic ash cloud that is expected to keep about a third of the table holders away from the German Sports & Olympic Museum in Cologne, Germany.

The fair, which has previously been held in cities such as Lausanne, Rio de Janeiro, Warsaw and Beijing, begins with a reception Friday night by invitation only and continues with trading hours Saturday and Sunday. The show will be held in conjunction with the 11th annual philatelic fair hosted annually by the museum near the Rhine.

Collectors and dealers from around the world have booked tables or made arrangements to attend, but some from North and South America and Scandinavia have notified colleagues that they have been forced to stay home because of flight disruptions caused by the volcano eruption in Iceland.

The fair will formally open on Saturday with trading.The IOC Collectors Commission will meet on the same day.

David Maiden, IOC philatelic coordinator, is also representing the IOC.

The German Post will be offering two special cancellations: on Saturday with the text "15th World Olympic Collectors' Fair 2010" (IOC) & "Ice Hockey World Championships 2010" (City of Cologne), and on Sunday with the text "Youth Olympic Games, Singapore 2010" (Richard Borek GmbH) & "Football World Cup 2010" (Deutsche Post AG).

Medals, tickets, programs, pins and other items from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics will be bought, sold and traded, as well as memorabilia from as far back as the 1896 Olympics in Athens.

Because of eBay, collectors no longer depend on shows for new material, so the events have taken on a more social aspect.

The Global Olympic Collecting competition featuring up to 10 collectors also will take place. The winner, who will be announced Sunday, will receive a trip to Lausanne and a visit to the Olympic Museum and two night's accommodation.

IOC pin licensee Honav will also make a presentation on Sunday.

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