A petition has been launched, demanding the cancellation of a collection of Finnish stamps featuring homoerotic art.

On Monday Itella, the Finnish postal service, announced the stamps in honour of acclaimed artist Tom of Finland, real name Touko Laaksonen.

A statement from Itella read: “His emphatically masculine homoerotic drawings have attained iconic status in their genre and had an influence on, for instance, pop culture and fashion.

“The drawings on the stamp sheet represent strong and confident male figures typical of their designer.”

According to Jezebel, a petition demanding the stamp range is called off has now launched, and has so far gathered over 2000 signatures.

It reads: “We, the undersigned, demand that Itella don’t publish the planned homoerotic stamp set.

“We don’t want Finland to be represented on homeland and international shipping with homoerotic themes.

“The sexual orientation of the men in the images doesn’t leave much room for interpretation.

“Traditionally stamps have shown themes that are aesthetically beautiful and culturally valuable. Strong homoerotic themes in stamps is not either.

“In the future we want Itella to think more carefully how to select themes that all Finns can be proud of.”

One of the most successful Finnish film directors, Dome Karukoski, announced last year that he will direct an authorised biopic about Tom of Finland.

The film marks the first time the Tom of Finland Foundation has approved a motion picture about the artist, who has been called the “most influential creator of gay pornographic images.”