The dramatic story of The Wizard of Oz’s dress, which has been lost for decades, met another plot twist on Monday when a judge blocked its planned sale at auction.
In 1939 one of the blue and white checkered gingham costumes worn by Judy Garland for the role of Dorothy was planned. Part of the auction Hollywood monuments in Los Angeles are for sale by the Catholic University of America. The dress was rediscovered in a shoebox during preparations for a renovation at the school last year.
The auctioneer listed the pre-sale estimate of $ 800,000 to $ 1.2m before the Bonhams clothing was recalled.
But U.S. District Judge Paul Cardep in Manhattan issued a motion for a preliminary restraining order after hearing a lawsuit filed by a relative of his father, Gilbert Hardke, who worked at the university, and he was granted the dress in 1973.
Hardke died in 1986; A daughter-in-law, 81-year-old Barbara Ann Hardke, filed a lawsuit against the school and the auctioneer earlier this month, with media accounts revealing that the dress was going to auction.
He has stated in the ongoing case that the dress belongs to him as he is a close relative of his uncle. He says the actor gave him a personal gift from Mercedes McCambridge.
According to his lawsuit, the university “has no right to the dress … there is no document to prove that it donated the dress formally or informally to the Catholic University”.
Opposing the lawsuit for a restraining order, the school’s attorneys, as a Dominican priest, said Hardkey had vowed not to “accept gifts in his personal capacity” and therefore clothing could not be considered part of any estate.
Catholic University officials say the costume presented to Hardcock, then head of the theater department, has been missing for decades.
Garland wore several versions of the dress during the filming of the movie; Auctioneer Bonhams said one of the two blouses found at the Catholic University was still with it, and that Carland had worn it in the castle of the evil witch of the West.
Bonhams did not comment.
In a statement, the university’s lawyers said, “We look forward to presenting substantial evidence in court that contradicts our position and Ms Hardke’s claim.”
The comment email was sent to Hardkey’s attorney.
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