Collection of autographs is world heritage

on Monday, 02 February 2015. Posted in World Leaders

Published in a dutch newspaper: "Nieuwsblad"

“The pope doesn’t give one. Neither does the king. But all other famous people do sign their pictures.’ And that’s exactly what Jan Costermans (60) collects. 
“I have about 7,500 of them. Yesterday another gem arrived in the mail: a beautiful signature by Natassja Kinski. Do you know her? She’s an actrice from the seventies. Through my connections I managed to obtain her autograph too.”

But Jan Costermans is most proud of the signatures he asked for in person. “That makes it so much more special. In 2003 Bill Clinton visited Antwerp. Hours before he arrived at his hotel, I stood there waiting. But his security wouldn’t let me through. Later that evening I returned, and when Clinton got back he remembered me from that morning, and he signed the photo on the spot. He even asked me to spell my name.”

Clinton was for free, but for many other autographs Costermans paid a lot of money. “For a signature of Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, I paid 120 euro. Celebrities like him are often invited to signature sessions. They sit behind a table, and we pay for a picture. 120 euro for a signature, 133 if ‘Apollo 11’ is required and 145 euro if you want your name on the photo too.”

“It’s a hobby that gives me a kick. In a way, once you have an autograph of a celebrity, that person is with you. I’m already thinking about what will happen with my collection after I pass away, because I have no children. But that’s for the far future. Meanwhile everybody is invited to the World Heritage Day on April 26th.”

We thank Jan Costermans for the article!

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