The niece of a lifeless priest is suing a US public sale home to attempt to halt the sale of Judy Garland’s iconic Wizard of Oz gingham costume.
The blue and white checked costume, believed to be one among six originals from the movie was as a consequence of go below the hammer at Bonhams on Tuesday however might now be withdrawn.
In accordance with the auctioneer, the costume was being supplied on the market by the Catholic College of America based mostly in Washington, DC.
It had been gifted to the College’s former Head of Drama, Reverend Gilbert Hartke, by Mercedes McCambridge, a Hollywood actress and Artist in Residence on the College in 1973.
She was additionally identified for being the voice of the demon in 1973′s religious-horror traditional The Exorcist.
After Gilbert died in 1986, the costume went lacking, and was lately found, so it was determined to place it up for public sale with the proceeds of the sale benefitting the drama division.
However cue stage left, and the priest’s niece Barbara Hartke, who says the dear piece of Hollywood memorabilia belongs to her late uncle’s property and may subsequently not be offered by the college.
Film memorabilia gross sales are huge enterprise. One of many different clothes from the movie was offered by Bonhams in 2015 and fetched greater than $1.5 million. It additionally offered the Cowardly Lion costume worn by actor Bert Lahr for greater than $3 million in 2014.
‘Unbelievable historical past’
Ms Hartke, who lives in Wisconsin, named the college and the public sale home as defendants in her lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court docket.
The swimsuit seeks an injunction from the court docket that will forestall the public sale from going down.
As a part of the sale data accompanying the lot, Helen Corridor, Director of Widespread Tradition at Bonhams in Los Angeles, had stated the costume had an “unbelievable historical past” and the public sale home was “honoured to be part of its journey”.