Photo: Pieces in Raul Blisniuk's Beatles memorbilia collection up for auction in Argentina
“My passion for The Beatles comes from childhood,“ Raúl Blisniuk, owner of of South America’s largest of Beatles memorabilia collection told the Associated Press. Some of the Argentine’s pieces will be auctioned off October 13 by Banco Ciudad.
At the age of 13, Blisniuk, began his collection
“I grew up with Beatlemania and I’m a Beatles fanatic,” Blisniuk said. “I came from a poor family so my dad couldn’t afford the records, but over time, I started saving newspaper clippings, magazines, and my collection grew.”
His collection currently consists of thousands of pieces, including a sketch by John Lennon himself. It features stick figures of Lennon and wife Yoko Ono, with a corner inscription that reads, “1+1=John+Yoko. ‘Tis simple math guys.” The bidding for this piece will start at 100,000 pesos ($22,535).
In 1998, Blisniuk made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for having South America’s largest collection of Beatles memorabilia.
Though the Beatles never played in Argentina, the Fab Four have a huge following in the South American country.
Rodolfo Vazquez, 53, also of Argentina, holds the current record for largest collection of Beatles memorabilia in the world with more than 8,500 pieces. Each year, Vasquez organizes “Beatle Week” in Buenos Aires where cover bands compete to be crowned the best imitators of the sixties super group. The winners win a trip to a music festival in Liverpool.
Vasquez says the only thing he has left to collect are handshakes from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the last remaining members of the group that caused Beatle Mania around the world, even in places like Argentina, where they had never even performed.
Next week, Banco Ciudad will auction off Blisniuk’s pieces, which include signed checks, black-and-white photographs, a bass signed by Paul McCartney, and even dollar bills featuring the faces of the group placed over the face of George Washington.