Collectors’ initiatives in Bulgaria

Collectors are often viewed as traders of antiques, while their primary purpose is actually enlarging their private collections with valuable pieces of art, history and culture. I think that on many occasions they preserve cultural heritage better than the state. In Bulgaria, we’ve had many problems with treasure-hunters, who not only steal our legacy, but export it and sell it in other countries.
The most famous collectors in Bulgaria on the other hand, often donate to museums and actually help us preserve our heritage. These people have stronger emotional connection with pieces of art or history and they would often not trade it for anything else.
There are many examples of this – Boyan Radev – a collector is the largest benefactor to the National history museum. Svetlio Kantardzhiev has founded a Non-governmental organization – Mizia Foundation – which primary objective is to preserve our cultural and historical legacy. Every year, the members of the association of Bulgarian collectors hold an event – a special exhibition, called “The Other Museum” with privately owned, extremely rare and valuable exhibits from art and history.
These are the reasons I believe collectors are doing much more good than bad. I am not a member of the Association of collectors, but I collect post stamps, coins, old clocks and radios etc., so I know what is the passion and how it feels and how much effort is needed to be a collector. What do you think about this hobby?

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