London, (ANI): A rare stamp portraying film star Audrey Hepburn smoking fetched close to 47,000 pounds at an auction in Germany, it has emerged. Eight years ago, the German government had ordered the stamp to be destroyed after Hepburn's son, Sean Ferrer, objected to the cigarette holder dangling from her mouth and refused to grant copyright.
In 2001, the nation's government had printed 14 million of the stamps as part of a series featuring movie stars including Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo. Following Ferrer's objection, the print run was destroyed, reports The Telegraph.
However, the finance ministry had already delivered advance copies to Deutsche Post for approval, and 30 of the proof copies escaped destruction when an unknown employee pocketed them and used them to send letters postmarked from Berlin.
"We can only guess that whoever took the Hepburn stamps from Deutsche Post didn't realize their value, thought they would save 55 cents and just used them on normal letters," said Andreas Schlegel, the auctioneer.