Thursday, September 25, 2008


The Belgian Institute for World Affairs has revived its campaign to reclaim the most valuable chunk of real estate in the world - the island of Manhattan. This is very strategic at a time when Wall Street is in meltdown, because a group of Belgians say they owned Wall Street in the first place.

In 1626 Peter Minuit and five other Walloons bought Manhattan Island from the native inhabitants for the equivalent of $24. But the dollar had yet to be invented, so he used collectable objects and trinkets for currency. Then he ordered a new mud wall to be built to keep his cows in and the local indians out. The path alongside his wall became known as Wall Street and the colony was named Novum Belgium. It was another 20 years before Peter Stuyvesant took over for the Dutch in what they called New Amsterdam, and 40 years before the British gained control and named the place New York.

The Belgian Institute of World Affairs was set up in 1982 by two Belgian artists, Karel Schoetens and Jef Lambrecht, and their “original” Manhattan share certificates are currently on display at, where they are valued at $24,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Perhaps they will consider swapping Manhattan back for some other collectable objects and trinkets on exhibition at, which will soon allow users of its new social network to vote on the true value of anything and everything.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008


To collect memorabilia that once belonged to the most famous people in the world can be a very costly business. But is it really worth it? Some people are prepared to pay silly money to collect the holy relics of political stars, pop stars, film stars and porn stars, but what is their true value?. Four years ago the record price of $959,500 was paid for "Blackie", a hand-made guitar that Eric Clapton cannibalized from two old Fender Stratocasters. The raw materials originally cost next to nothing, and the buyer could never play it like Clapton, so it was only the magic of celebrity that added the value. Eight years ago, a sweaty old bra once worn by Madonna fetched $23,850. Twenty years ago, the skin-tight, skin-colored dress Marilyn Monroe wore when she sang Happy Birthday to President Kennedy fetched $1,267500 - a world record for a single item of Twentieth Century clothing.

We now wait with baited breath and a sequinned crotch, to see if this world record for celebrity memorabilia will be broken on 6th August at the Rock and Roll Pop Art Auction, where a cheesy jumpsuit once worn by Elvis Presley goes under the hammer. The King said the zippered jumpsuit decorated with rhinestone peacocks was his favorite outfit, when he first wore it on stage at The Forum Los Angeles on 11 May 1974, and it is the only classic Elvis suit left in the wild - the rest are all in captivity at Graceland. With one week to go before bids close, CollectValue sees that the auction bid is already at $250,000.

The late Elvis Presley is obviously more collectable that the late Saddam Hussein. When Saddam’s purple Rolls Royce Corniche appeared on eBay this week it was hastily withdrawn. It is now on an English car-dealer website with 900km on the clock and an asking price of $370,000. CollectValue looked up the price of a new Rolls Royce Corniche, and found it is $360,000, which makes Saddam Hussein’s added value less than one of Madonna’s bra cups. But at least we now know the true price of fame.
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Friday, July 11, 2008


Are you sick and tired of your old PC? Is your monitor boring and dull? Does your operating system drive you nuts? Don't you long for an eco-friendly computer? Then take a look at this cuddly, colorful, contemporary system made from the most natural recycled material in the world - wool!

Once upon a time there was an artist called Ben Kruisdijk, who said, "I like to make dream objects that don't have to obey the laws of physics." And once upon a time there was another artist called Conny Kuilboer, who said, "the materials I use most are blankets because they protect and give warmth, but are really oppressive, irritating and a fire hazard." Since they started collaborating twelve months ago, Ben and Conny have created the most amazing and amusing expos and exhibited them all over the world - most recently in South Korea. And now they have chosen CollectValue as a permanent home to display their work.

And before you ask, the delivery system for their knitted computer platform is a zero-emission stuffed donkey. Of course it is. You can feed it a virtual carrot at their brilliant online exhibition called When Things Get Too Big. Go on, you know you want to.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Censorship is alive and well and living in Belgium, where the authorities have banned an exhibition portrait of the late King and Queen because it was "too shocking" to view. But the sensational painting by a publicity-shy woman artist is now on display for all to see on the internet, along with a self-censored update she has painted in mockery of the ban.
The artist, 33 year-old Greet Van Autgaerden, posed the royal couple in an idyllic rose garden with four muzzled dogs., frothing, drooling and straining at the leash. She wanted to show the world of the royals as a caged existence, where they are not free to communicate with normal people. But on the opening night at the Blevue Museum of Art in Brussels, museum officials draped a cloth over the slavering hounds so as "not to offend royalists". This has provoked the artist to update her royal portrait by replacing the hapless dogs with giant pixels in a parody of censored identity photos. But she has left the images of the King and Queen exposed.

Etienne Verbist, the Curator of the CollectValue online museum, says "I think these paintings are poignant and sympathetic to the true nature of our royal family. If these images of a dead king and queen pruning roses are too shocking to be seen, then you may as well censor half the allegorical and religious paintings from the Renaissance onwards." He went on to say there would be no question of withdrawing the images from the internet museum and was proud to be able to display the artist's work for all to see.

The uncensored version can be seen in Greet Autgaerden's exhibition at, alongside much more sensational images that she calls Naked Meat..
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Thursday, June 19, 2008


An exhibition of sci-fi jewelry closed this week at the Villa De Bondt, the Art Deco paradise in the Belgian city of Ghent. Fans of the jewelry designer Bernard Francois were left begging for more, and so he announced a virtual museum then and there, available for anyone to access for free. This is not the first time that Bernard Francois has kicked against convention. Thirty years ago he set up his Neon Gallery, and treated visitors who came to view his jewelled creations like long-lost friends. And there were some astonishing creations for his new audience to view, where nanotechnology, cartoon strips and sci-fi collide head on with beauty and bling, and where plastic is just as important as precious metals. Now, in keeping with his sense of mischief and surprise, Bernard Francois has decided to exhibit his amazing Villa De Bondt collection not alongside other word-renowned jewellers but alongside ordinary members of the public.

His preferred global gallery is our CollectValue social network site, where he has found a new ally to champion his cause. Our Curator, Etienne Verbist says, “I took one look at his exhibition on our site and decided he must have his own online museum. Don’t get me wrong, I love people who use us to display their collections of say Barbie dolls and vintage motorbikes, but this man’s visionary jewelry looks like it was designed to be worn by future cyber-lady robots.”
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Friday, June 6, 2008


An avid plane-spotter has been putting excellent images in the Aviation gallery of the CollectValue museum.
Nothing unusual about that, you may think. But alongside the embroidered flyers' patches and military choppers, his latest exhibition is a collection of plane crashes. Our spies tell us that the photographer is a banker based in Luxembourg, which may explain the expression on the face of the Boeing 747 as it poses for his camera. Read more ...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


The only complete manuscripts of The Surrealist Manifesto have been sold at auction for the amazing value of five million dollars. This has enraged art historians and critics, but all you true surrealists will be delighted. The CollectValue Gazette certainly is. The Paris Museum of Letters and Manuscripts is now the proud owner of these papers from 1924, which represent the most influential documents in modern art. They are all signed by the founder of surrealism himself, Andre Breton.

Andre Breton completely rejected the whole idea of art having any lasting value at all, and he must be happily spinning in his grave at the absurdity of it all. His Surrealist Manifesto influenced the work of the most collectable artists of the 20th Century, including Pablo Picasso, René Magritte, Salvador Dali and Marcel Duchamps. Their artworks have all commanded huge sums of money for years, but now a printed manifesto by the Daddy Of Them All has achieved the same heady heights.
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Thursday, May 29, 2008


A museum made out of 33,000 beer crates has shot up in the middle of Brussels. Called ‘The Pavilion of Temporary Happiness’, it commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Brussels Expo 58 World Fair, and it will stand proudly in front of the Atomium landmark - the 1958 symbol of post-war optimism and the Atomic Age - until it gets demolished and recycled on October 19th.
The giant yellow plastic structure houses an exhibition of classic style icons, partly culled from the private collection of CollectValue.
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Monday, April 21, 2008

For sale: The world’s largest record collection!

The world’s largest music collection - 3 million vinyl records & 300.000 cd’s - is up for sale! Paul Mawhinney, 69 years of age and in bad health after a few strokes, put his whole collection on eBay at a starting price of three million dollars. The resulting winning bid ($ 3.002.150) turned out to be false.
Mawhinney, who resides in Pittsburgh, is currently negotiating with other potential buyers. He remains upbeat and states turning down an offer of 28 million dollars nine years ago.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nooit genoeg! Verzamelpassie in beeld

Uitgeverij Lannoo brengt een nieuw boek over en voor gepassioneerde verzamelaars. Vijftig fascinerende privé-collecties en vijftig intrigerende portretten van de mens achter de verzameling in één boek. Vier auteurs gaan vanuit verschillende disciplines op zoek naar een verklaring voor de verzamelwoede. Fotograaf Jelle Vermeersch trok met de camera op pad om de vijftig verzamelaars in hun eigen omgeving met hun verzameling te portretteren wat resulteert in een fotografisch portret dat balanceert tussen een etnografisch - documentaire blik en een artistieke verbeelding.
Vanaf vandaag in de boekhandel.
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