x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Don't throw that out!

The difference between the clutter in your closets and celebrity "memorabilia" is that people will pay big money for stuff the famous no longer want.

Show business and sport celebrities have many obvious advantages over the rest of us, and often deploy them ostentatiously: private jets, free designer attire, bodyguards to keep the riff-raff at bay and more. But there is also at least one not-so-obvious benefit of fame: people will pay a lot for your old stuff.

Worn-out clothing, broken guitars, dusty bowling trophies, and other items that ordinary folk merely discard, or even pay to have hauled away, all qualify as "memorabilia" if they belong, or have belonged, to someone famous. There's a lucrative market in such material.

As The National reported this week, more than 60 items of Madonna's - photos, film props, even a neatly bisected old credit card - are currently being offered for sale in Dubai, and expected to bring Dh9 million in all.

Even a cursory internet search reveals no end of this stuff, in auctions and on sites such as eBay: Calvin Klein-brand underwear said to have been worn by Michael Jackson, a yellow towel used in a Salman Khan film, shoes Lana Turner once wore, a lock of Justin Bieber's hair, a urinal signed by Lady Gaga, a bracelet Bipasha Basu owned … the list goes on.

The lesson is obvious: Never throw anything out. Some day, when you're famous, it will all be worth a fortune.