Academy sues auction house for selling an Oscar statuette

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Image Credit: Briarbrook Auctions/AP

Note to actors desperate to own an Oscar: You can’t just buy one.

This week, people discovered that the Academy is quite serious about this rule. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is suing Briarbrook Auction Services for auctioning off Joseph Wright’s 1942 Oscar he was awarded for color and art direction on My Gal Sal. (Wright died in 1985.) The Academy’s by-laws state neither the recipients of the awards nor their successors can sell the statuettes without first offering them to the Academy, according to Deadline, which first reported news of the lawsuit.

Despite this rule, the statue was sold to an unknown buyer just one week ago for $79,200, and Tuesday the Academy filed the suit in Los Angeles. The Academy claims it sent a copy of its rules to the auction house and followed up with calls, but they sold it anyway.

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