Schwarzenegger postage stamp goes on sale|
VIENNA (AP) — Who says the Terminator can't be licked? Some 600,000 new postage stamps featuring a likeness of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger went on sale Friday — his 57th birthday — in his native Austria, and the postal service said it was bracing for heavy demand.
E-mail requests for the $1.20 stamp have flooded the nation's postal headquarters in Vienna, spokesman Johannes Angerer said. Austrians eager to buy it showed up early Friday, but there were no long lines.
"Now you can 'stick' Arnie!" Austrian state television exulted in a report on the stamp's release.
The stamp features an image of Schwarzenegger in a dark suit and tie superimposed over the American and Austrian flags. The text reads simply: "Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger."
The actor-turned-politician best known for the "Terminator" series of action films was born on July 30, 1947, in the village of Thal just outside the southern Austrian city of Graz. He collected stamps himself as a boy, the postal service noted proudly.
The Schwarzenegger stamp is part of a collectors' series called "Austrians Living Abroad."
About 75,000 of the new stamps have been set aside for Austrian and foreign collectors, but the rest were fair game for ordinary people. They were trading on e-Bay for $2 apiece Friday, well under the $9.99 offers that circulated two weeks ago, when the postal service first announced their release.
Schwarzenegger, now a naturalized U.S. citizen, emigrated to the United States in 1968 to pursue his career as a bodybuilder and movie star. The former Mr. Universe made his first visit to Austria as California governor earlier this month, representing the United States at the state funeral of President Thomas Klestil.
Schwarzenegger also met privately with Simon Wiesenthal, the Austrian Holocaust survivor famous for his hunt of Nazi war criminals.
The actor remains immensely popular in his home country, where a sports stadium in Graz bears his name. Most Austrians refer to him affectionately as "Arnie."
The California Republican joins Mick Jagger and Pope John Paul II, whose images also have appeared on Austrian postage stamps in recent years.
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