When passion for collecting becomes a lifetime career

When I met Victor Bota for the first time in a personal branding training in Bucharest, he told me that he is a driver. I was thinking "I wonder what is his project". What I found out that day opened a new world for me, one that I had no idea exists in the middle of Bucharest .

Victor is the most polite man I met in my life and he is a living encyclopedia. He speaks very little about himself, so I know only that he married the most beautiful girl in the world and he has a son who is now part of Victor's team.

Victor's life changed almost 15 years ago when the owner of the company where he was working as a transport coordinator introduced Victor to his passion of collecting. This passion started with tree wine corkscrews and became the biggest collection of corkscrews in the world, according to Guinness Book of Records.

We are talking about almost 30.000 pieces of corkscrews.  Corkscrews that Victor and his team bought from all over the world from fairs and auctions, documented them, photographed, labeled and displayed them for visitors. Some of these corkscrewss are pieces of art, they are telling the stories of places and owners and Victor knows all the stories. The most expensive corkscrew that was sold in a public auction is a part of the collection. It was made from a piece of metal that was extracted from London Bridge which was build in 1176 and demolished in 1831 and it has the price of a luxury car or 10.000 bottles of wine.

The collecting  didn't stop with corkscrews. I am proud to say that I was participating in the official counting for Guinness Book Certification of more than 35.000 pressing irons. It took more than 8 hours to count all this irons together with Victor's team, but it was a lesson of history, geography and art that I would repeat anytime. And it was fun, because in Victor's team there are young people, some of them still study for master degree or Phd, some of them just finished university.

And it didn't stop with pressing irons either, it continued with trivets, another collection certified by Guinness Book of Records as the biggest collection in the world.

But enough about the collections, Victor and his team of experts know many interesting stories about each collection and each particular piece and if you are interested, you can make a reservation on the website of the Museum of Romanian Records  . You can see the history of the world and the evolution of humankind in this collections, but you need to dedicate time and patience to this visit, because we are talking about 80.000 pieces of collection, some of them unique in the world.

Victor is now GM of the Museum of Romanian Records, but he couldn't build and manage this museum without his team that now counts 30 people. Alone, he couldn't travel for almost 500.000 km to visit fairs, expositions, to participate in auctions and meetings with collectors. All this pieces needs to be restored, photographed, labeled by experts.

Victor looks around with pride. It was not easy to build this museum, sometimes he had to give up on meetings with friends when he had to travel or to spend long hours to find solutions to different challenges, but he was working side by side with the owner who transferred him his passion and he loves the team, so he is happy to be a part in this amazing project.

Victor and his team are planning to fulfill the vision of the owner: new records, new documentaries and books about the collections, congresses with the collectors from all over the world, artistic and cultural events, and to become a Center of Excellence for Romanian Top Values.

Victor was right. He is a driver, but he is not driving a car. He is driving his team to success and for them, success is to manage the biggest museum of records in Romania.

Alina Bota

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