I was reading the latest issue of the American Stamp Dealer and Collector last night and saw an article about an emerging scandal. It seems members of the current government want the PO to sell off massive amounts of older stamps, some going back decades by public auction. Concerns are being expressed that this could shatter the stamp market for this collecting area.
I wasn't able to locate a clickable article about this. Anyone else see this story? I will keep Googling to find something I can link to on here.
The Italian post office was going to do this in the 1960s - I recall notes in SG catalogues, and asterisks against potentially affected stamps/prices, which included some of the more expensive stuff. Opportunity to pick up those expensive items for a song!
According to the article this is the same hoard they tried to unload previously and bombed. They apparently had reserves that were too high, Savvy dealers knew the release of all these would depress the market for decades. It's apparently not known what is in there but reference was made to material going back to the Papal States!
The article seems to imply this bad idea got a new lease on life when the new Italian government took power recently (Rightist and Euro-Skeptic).
Is it a scandal, though? Collectors over the years have chosen to assign in some cases high prices for things that have no intrinsic value. Now anyone who wants those odd air-mail issues from the 1930s has the prospect of owning them. I'll try to find the ancient text from SG and scan it.