Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
Orson Welles's Oscar for Citizen Kane Back on the Auction Block
What a way to commemorate the 70th anniversary of what many consider the greatest motion picture of all time. The best screenplay Oscar awarded Orson Welles for Citizen Kane is once again up for sale.
Welles misplaced the Oscar after it was given to him in 1942, and the statue wasn't unearthed until the time of his death in 1985. It came up for auction in 1994 when Welles's late-period cinematographer Gary Graver claimed it as a form of payment from the director.
The Academy, known to get its panties in a bunch at the thought of one of its golden doorstops falling into the hands of a commoner, was outraged when Welles's daughter, Beatrice, sued for custody and eventually auctioned it off in 2003. According to CNN, "A judge cleared the way for auction with a ruling in 2004 that Welles never signed the academy's agreement not to sell the trophy, according to Nate D. Sanders Auctions spokesman Sam Heller."
Photo courtesy of the David Parks Elliott Library.
When the gavel fell, the not-for-profit Dax Foundation (its current owner) took home the gold, only to auction it again in 2007. The Oscar was withdrawn after bidding failed to rise above the seller's minimum price of $800,000 to $1.2 million.
Having readjusted their sights, the tarnished Oscar is expected to take home somewhere between between $60,000 and $1 million. The online auction will take place later this month. I considered putting in a bid, but I need to buy toothpaste.