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Buy Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane Oscar

It seems somehow wrong to auction off Orson Welles‘  Citizen Kane  Academy Award — but that’s just what Sotheby’s will do come December 11, according to Reuters. That’s quite a Christmas gift for the lucky bidder.  Expect this one to go for over $1,000,000, folks.  After all, in 1999, the Best Picture Oscar for Gone With the Wind fetched $1.5 million. 

But there’s a secret story to the Citizen Kane Oscar statue.  Hit the jump to see what I mean.

It was very difficult to get this award ready for auction, wrote Reuters:

"The Oscar has almost as tangled a past as the film’s protagonist,
Charles Foster Kane. The award was believed to have been lost until it
surfaced at another Sotheby’s auction in 1994 after being held in
secrecy by a Los Angeles cinematographer who once worked with Welles
and received it from him as payment.

"Welles’ youngest daughter,
Beatrice, sued Sotheby’s and the cinematographer and eventually claimed
the Oscar. When she tried to sell it, the academy sued her as part of
its longstanding goal of keeping Oscars off commercial markets.

1950, the academy has required Oscar-winners to give it the first right
of refusal to buy back an Oscar for $1. Because this particular Oscar
had been given before 1950, among other reasons, Welles was able to
prevail in court.

"In 2003, Welles sold the Oscar to the Dax
Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit group that supports various
educational, health and other causes. Dax is auctioning the Oscar."  Whatever the cause, I still say it doesn’t seem right.

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