- A federal judge in New York blocked Tuesday’s scheduled auction of the dress worn by Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz,” which was expected to bring in up to $1 million or more for the Catholic University of America.
- The interruption to a planned sale of the dress by the Bonhams auction house in Los Angeles comes more than two weeks after a Wisconsin woman claimed it belonged to the estate of her late uncle, Rev. Gilbert Hartke.
- Her lawsuit, which opposes ownership of the dress, will now proceed in Manhattan federal court.
A federal judge in New York blocked Tuesday’s scheduled auction of the dress worn by Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz,” which was expected to bring in up to $1 million or more for the Catholic University of America.
Monday’s injunction barring the sale of the dress by Bonhams auction house in Los Angeles came more than two weeks after a Wisconsin woman sued to block the sale, claiming it was her late uncle, Rev. Gilbert Hartke’s estate.
Barbara Hartke’s trial will now proceed in Manhattan federal court.
Judge Paul Gardefe ordered the Catholic U.N. which is based in Washington, DC, and ordered Bonhams not to sell the dress until the lawsuit is resolved.
“I am pleased with the decision to halt the sale,” Barbara Hartke’s attorney, Anthony Scordo, said in an email to CNBC.
“I think the judge carefully reviewed the submissions of all parties and came to an appropriate result,” Scordo said.
Hartke received the “Oz” dress as a gift from Academy Award-winning actress Mercedes McCambridge in 1973, when she attended the Catholic U.K. He served as the head of the K Drama School, which he founded. It is not known how McCambridge obtained the costume from the 1939 classic film.
As the priest’s successor, Barbara stands to receive a portion of the dress owned by Hart if she prevails at his trial.
The dress had been missing for decades before being found in a garbage bag in a drama school room last year. Then the Catholic U. put it up for auction, causing widespread media coverage last month.
Catholic U. argues that it is the legal owner of the dress, as Hartke, as a Roman Catholic priest, had taken an oath of poverty and that the dress was intended to benefit the school.
The school also submitted an affidavit from a nephew of Hartke, who recalled that “my great-grandfather, father Gilbert Hartke, told me I could not have it because the dress was from a Catholic university.”
The man, Thomas Kuipers, said with a cousin that he and the priest’s other descendants supported the auction of the dress on the understanding that it was given as a gift to the school.
The costume is one of only two costumes that still exist, one of several made for Garland to wear in “The Wizard of Oz”.
the second dress was Auctioned by Bonhams in 2015 for over $1.5 million.
Credit: www.cnbc.com /