Oscar statuettes sold for 3 mn in auction

By: | Updated: 29 Feb 2012 05:46 AM

Los Angeles: A collection of 15 Oscar statuettes which were handed
out to recipients, including the writer for "Citizen Kane", fetched more
than $3 million at an auction here Tuesday, two days after the 84th
Academy Awards ceremony.

A statuette which was won by Herman
Mankiewicz for penning the script for the 1941 best screenplay winner
"Citizen Kane", grossed $588,455, the highest bid at the event held by
Beverly Hills-based auctioneer Nate D. Sanders, according to the auction

The record number of gold statuettes which were sold out
included those awarded for such classics as "How Green Was My Valley" and
"Wuthering Heights", reported Xinhua.

The statuettes, each 34 cm
tall and weighing 3.85 kg, were bestowed upon the moviemakers of winning
films and works before 1950, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences reached an agreement with winners which bars them and their heirs
from selling the statuettes without first offering to sell them back to
the Academy for $1.

"People continue to be drawn to the magic of
the movies and were extremely enthusiastic bidding on the Oscars, which
accounted for the high demand and sales prices," Nate D. Sanders said.

Academy condemned the auction, but has not been able to stop the sale,
according to a Los Angeles Times report which was filed three days before
the move.

"The academy, its members and the many film artists and
craftspeople who've won Academy Awards believe strongly that Oscars should
be won, not purchased," said Academy spokesperson Janet Hill in a

"Unfortunately, because our winners agreement wasn't
instituted until 1950, we don't have any legal means of stopping the
commoditization of these particular statuettes."

The statuettes
which were put on the block also included one which fetched $301,973, the
third highest total during the auction. This gold statuette was given to
"Skippy" in 1931 in honour of the Academy Award for Best Picture.

highest price for an Oscar statuette was recorded in 1999 when late pop
icon Michael Jackson paid a whopping $1.54 million for the best picture
statuette awarded in 1940 to David O. Selznick for "Gone with the Wind".

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First Published: 29 Feb 2012 05:46 AM
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