Royal Mail Xmas stamps' artist is Mormon who sparked religious outrage

Mormon from Argentina, 85, who sparked a religious controversy is the artist behind this year’s set of Royal Mail Christmas stamps

  • Telling Nativity story in distinctive way, the six designs are based on artwork by Cubist artist Jorge Cocco
  • Raised Catholic, he joined the Mormon Church with his wife Myriam Verbauwen in 1962
  • Last year, America’s Oregon Catholic Press magazine was forced to apologise after using one of Cocco’s images on its cover 
  • The image showed Mormon figure of Moroni, rather than a general image of an angel as publishers believed

The artist behind this year’s Royal Mail Christmas stamps is an 85-year-old Argentinian Mormon who previously sparked a religious controversy.

Telling the Nativity story in a distinctive way, the six designs are based on artwork by Cubist artist Jorge Cocco.

Raised Catholic, he joined the Mormon Church with his wife Myriam Verbauwen in 1962.

Mormons consider themselves Christians but also believe that the United States is the promised land and that Adam and Eve lived in Missouri after being banished from the Garden of Eden.


The artist behind this year’s Royal Mail Christmas stamps is an 85-year-old Argentinian Mormon who previously sparked a religious controversy. Telling the Nativity story in a distinctive way, the six designs are based on artwork by Cubist artist Jorge Cocco


Tory MP Peter Bone said: ‘It does seem very strange that Royal Mail cannot find a British artist to do this. I just wonder how many Argentinian stamps are designed by British artists.’ Royal Mail executive David Gold said the stamps, which were designed by Bath-based studio Supple with input from Cambridge theology lecturer Andrew Davison Starbridge, were ‘beautiful illustrations of the Christmas story’

Last year, America’s Oregon Catholic Press magazine was forced to apologise after using one of Cocco’s images on its cover. 

The image showed the Mormon figure of Moroni, rather than a general image of an angel as the publishers believed. 

One critic said the image was ‘not compatible with Catholicism in any way’ and ‘highly inappropriate’.

And not everyone is happy that he was chosen for this year’s Christmas stamps designs.

Tory MP Peter Bone said: ‘It does seem very strange that Royal Mail cannot find a British artist to do this. 

‘I just wonder how many Argentinian stamps are designed by British artists.’

Royal Mail executive David Gold said the stamps, which were designed by Bath-based studio Supple with input from Cambridge theology lecturer Andrew Davison Starbridge, were ‘beautiful illustrations of the Christmas story’.

Last year’s stamps featured stained-glass windows from a Leicestershire church.


Above, artist Jorge Cocco. Last year, America’s Oregon Catholic Press magazine was forced to apologise after using one of his images on its cover. The image showed the Mormon figure of Moroni, rather than a general image of an angel as the publishers believed. Right: a statue of Moroni on the Salt Lake City Mormon Temple (missing its horn after an earthquake)

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