HUNDREDS of irreplaceable stamps which form an important part of Gibraltar’s heritage have been saved from falling into private hands.

The historical collection, featuring unique artwork, was close to being handed over to a Spanish buyer after being put up for auction.

But following the intervention of the Gibraltar government, the stamps will now be passed on to the Gibraltar Museum.

The collection’s return is timed to coincide with the 125th anniversary of the Rock issuing its own stamps.