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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

The World's Biggest Greeting Card

"The biggest postcard in the world will be constructed on Feb. 15 in Red Square", said the article in Rossiiskaya Gazeta. "The gigantic structure is mounted on a red base, and topped by a green dome".


Hard to miss, one would have thought. However, an approach from GUM on Tuesday afternoon did not reveal any such huge constructions on the horizon. Well, maybe around the back of St. Basil's Cathedral? Perhaps the big postcard was hidden on the other side.


But no enormous card loomed up by the Rossiya Hotel either. A German tourist was snapping away, and a few black marketeers were lurking around clutching fur hats. Red Square looked like it always does.


The black marketeers were bemused at the question. "Postcard? " Their eyes lit up. "You want to buy one? "


Had they seen one? "Well, there was a big snowflake placard here, but they took it away last week".


Rossiiskaya Gazeta was a little off on the date of the appearance of the construction, but the postcard did go up a little later, on Wednesday, as it turned out.


Sponsored by American Greetings, the U. S. stationery manufacturers, the "International Friendship Card" is now standing on the GUM side of Red Square, and passersby are adding their signatures to those of celebrities such as American tennis star Jennifer Capriati, who was one of more than 1 million Americans to sign it in 1992.


The card, which will be on display until Feb. 24, stands over four meters tall and is made up of three two-sided canvas panels.


Four hundred artists, writers, and graphic designers from American Greetings worked to hand-paint the card, which bears inscriptions in 13 languages.


One side is decorated with paintings of famous international sites such as the Indian Taj Mahal, the Roman Coliseum, the Great Wall of China, and, closer to home, St. Basil's Cathedral; the other side is decorated with American places of interest such as the Statue of Liberty and the Capitol in Washington, D. C.


According to the card promoters, the card was designed after the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, in cooperation with the United Nations, and is being sent as a message of friendship to Russia. After the card does its tour of duty in Red Square it will return to the White House in Washington.


People who have already signed the card have written their own personal messages to the peoples of the world. In Red Square on Wednesday afternoon, one man was inscribing "Peace, Bread" on the canvas scrolls provided for signatures.


There is an added incentive to go to Red Square to sign the card; the 100, 000th person to sign the card in Moscow will get a free trip to Washington to visit the White House.