LOS ANGELES (AP) ― The organization that hosts the Academy Awards has sued over the recent auction of a 1942 Oscar awarded to the art director of the film “My Gal Sal” and is seeking to buy back the statuette for a fraction of the nearly $80,000 it was sold for.
The Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences sued Rhode Island-based Briarbrook Auction Services on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Briarbrook sold the statuette, which was awarded to Joseph Wright for his art direction of the musical “My Gal Sal,” on June 24 for $79,200. The film starred Rita Hayworth, and Wright’s Oscar was the movie’s only Academy Award win.
The academy is seeking an order requiring Briarbrook to sell the Oscar statuette to it for $10, in accordance with the organization’s bylaws.
The academy adopted a rule in 1951 prohibiting winners or their heirs from selling Oscars.
Briarbrook owner Nanci Thompon said she has not seen the lawsuit, but she noted Wright’s Oscar predated the sales prohibition and said her company was very careful before offering it for sale.
The lawsuit does not identify who purchased the statuette.