A Road Not Built

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Colombia 726, C393


     “The map on a 1961 Colombian issue marking the eighth Pan-American Highway Congress includes a major highway prominently marked by a thick blue line—with no indication that this highway was planned but had not at that time actually been built.”

D.E.G. Irvine and M. Seshold,
Errors in Postage Stamp Design.
London: National Philatelic Society, p 82

Jean-Pierre Mangin,

Guide Munidal des Timbres Erronés,

Yvert & Tellier, 1999, p. 155

SCN C393

     In 1961 Colombia issued a group of stamps for the Pan-American Congress. One (Scott No. 726) for surface mail, three (C390-C392) for air mail, and one (C393) inscribed “Extra Rapido.” Only one has blue highways.
     Irvine and Seshold’s comment (above) is correct. Even now, more than a quarter of a century later, the highways indicated in blue have not been built. The Pan-American highway is currently described as beginning in Colombia near Cucuta in the northeast, going to Bogotá and entering Ecuador south of Pasto. There are tentative plans to build a part of the highway connecting with Panama, but nothing concrete has been done.

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