Corruption Test – Korruptionstest is an ongoing series of postal experiments.
Whenever I am abroad, or when friends or acquaintances of mine travel somewhere exotic, I ask them to send me two postcards. The instructions are simple:
I’m always happy about new tests. If you would like to participate, just follow the instructions below.
Instructions for Corruption Test - Take a 1 USD note and the cheapest banknote of the local currency - Use a marker to write "Corruption test" in English, German (and if possible) the local language directly on the banknote - Adress it to "Robin Gommel, Postfach 301, 79003 Freiburg, Germany", also using a marker - Buy a stamp for an international postcard, stick it on the banknote - Take a picture of the banknotes, note the date of shipment and the location of the mailbox and email me those
I keep a database of the emails and the actual postcards I have received. This is far larger than the collection of sample images you see below.
Some arrive safely. Some get lost. Some take forever. Sometimes funny things happen.
Mailing Corruption Tests
Unaltered delivered Corruption Tests
Funny things that happened
Deutsche Post did not like the packaging or lack thereof and charged me a three Euro fine.
Royal Mail packaged both tests in a plastic envelope 2019
Posten Norge packaged the NOK, but mailed the USD as postcard (see above)
The USD mailed to Peter Weiss Haus for the Art to Fail exhibition arrived, the € did not.
Deutsche Post packaged the five Euro note and re-attached the stamp with a paper clip. The stamps bought from vending machines are notoriously unsticky.
Royal Mail packaged the GBP note in an envelope, the USD was lost in 2014
In 2021 Magyar Posta packaged USD and HUF in an envelope. It arrived after 6 months. A USD and HUF note shipped from the same mailbox (at Keleti train station) in 2010 have not arrived yet.
Lost Corruption Test
Most Corruption Tests have been lost. Here are some of those.