Calderwood fan “biggest” collector of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia in Scotland
A SELF-confessed Marilyn Monroe fanatic has vowed to keep collecting despite his one bedroom flat being packed to the gunnels with memorabilia.
Alexander McKinnon, 56, from Calderwood, has amassed what he believes is one of the biggest collection of images, books and other memorabilia in Scotland, if not the UK, dedicated to his idol which has been valued at a six-figured sum.
His giant collection includes over 20,000 images of Marylin, hundreds of books, t-shirts, mugs and anything else he has been able to get his hands on, mainly through websites such as Amazon and Ebay. He even has five tattoos on his arm dedicated to Monroe.
He is only rivalled by collectors in America, Canada and even China, many of whom own artefacts which belonged to the star.
The Hollywood icon died 50 years ago on Saturday with conspiracy theories still rife about her untimely death, which was officially attributed to an accidental drug overdose.
Alexander, a former caretaker, told the News: I have been collecting for over 30 years and first began when I was about 18 or 19.
I was a massive Laurel and Hardy fan at the time but through my mum and dad picked up books about Marilyn Monroe.
I have read countless books about great people in history including Churchill and Einstein but I found and still find her the most fascinating person I have ever read about and, from then, I have never read anything unless it has been about her.
Alexander visited Los Angeles 10 years ago to mark the 40th anniversary of her death, visiting her tomb in Westwood Village Memorial Park along with hundreds of other fans but due to health problems wont make it to the States for the 50th anniversary.
This is the one I really would have loved to go to but it wasnt to be. I am in every Marilyn Monroe society on the internet and the 50th anniversary celebrations will be such a big thing over in the States, he told the News.
When I went there 10 years ago I met George Barras, a famous photographer who took the last ever photo of Marilyn before hear death. He was in his 80s but it was amazing to meet him and he was such an interesting person.
Despite being offered a six-figured sum by another collector Alexander decided against parting with his collection, which he admits has taken over his flat.
I was offered a lot of money for the collection a few years back and I thought long and hard about it, he said. But I decided I couldnt do it. It has taken me over 30 years to build up the collection and despite the offer of the money I wasnt going to hand it over - what would be the point.
I told the other collector to come back to me when I am 60 but I still dont think I will be able to part with it.