Orson’s Oscar for Sale


On October 15, Sotheby’s announced the auction of Orson Welles’ Oscar for his 1941 masterpiece Citizen Kane. The statue, which was awarded to Welles and co-writer Herman J. Mankiewicz for Best Original Screenplay, will be put up for auction on December 11 and is expected to fetch between $800,000 and $1.2 million. But this will not be the first attempt to auction off the statue. In 1993, a cinematographer who had worked with Welles tried to auction off the statue, but was sued by Beatrice Welles, Orson’s daughter. Later, when Beatrice herself tried to sell the Oscar, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences sued her, keeping with their desire to keep the statues off the commercial market. The suit was unsuccessful, however, as it was not until 1950 that the Academy had secured first right of refusal for the sales of their statues. In 2003 she successfully sold the statue to The Dax Foundation, a nonprofit organization. All proceeds from the auction will be used by the foundation to fund their philanthropic efforts.

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