decide blocks $1.2 million 'Wizard of Oz' gown sale amid possession dispute - CNN

Written by way of Oscar Holland, CNN

Contributors Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

A judge has blocked the sale of a pinafore costume worn by means of Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" -- only 1 day before it become expected to fetch up to $1.2 million at public sale. missing for decades but rediscovered in shoebox ultimate year, the costume turned into withdrawn from a movie memorabilia sale in long island on Tuesday as a result of an ongoing ownership dispute.

The garment is one in all a number of blue gingham clothes worn by using Garland's personality Dorothy in the classic 1939 movie. based on court files, actor Mercedes McCambridge proficient it to Reverend Gilbert Hartke, founding father of The Catholic university of america's branch of Speech and Drama, within the early Seventies.

considered lost after the priest's dying in 1986, the dress changed into found in a shoebox by means of a school lecturer last summer time. The college in consequence offered if on the market by means of auction condo Bonhams, which had estimated bids between $800,000 and $1.2 million.

but the reverend's niece, Barbara Hartke, has for the reason that claimed that the costume turned into a part of her uncle's property, to which she is the rightful inheritor. In a criticism filed to a brand new York court docket previous this month, she argued that McCambridge had given the gown to her uncle to thank him for "helping her combat alcohol and substance abuse," and that there turned into no facts displaying he had donated it to the school.

A blue and white checked gingham gown, worn with the aid of Judy Garland in the "Wizard of Oz," hangs on monitor, Monday, April 25, 2022, at Bonhams in new york. credit: Katie Vasquez/AP

The Catholic college meanwhile claims that McCambridge had expected her gift to advantage its college students. In court docket filings, the college additionally argued that, in fitting a priest of the Roman Catholic Church's Dominican Order, the reverend had vowed not ever to possess "temporal items" -- and consequently the garment couldn't be regarded part of his estate.

Hartke's attorney, Anthony Scordo, spoke of via e mail that the institution is "no longer clear precisely what the vow consisted of" and that the late priest "all the time permitted and (had) own presents."

On Monday, long island district decide Paul Gardephe granted an injunction halting the sale.

In a press release supplied to CNN, the tuition stressed that the ruling become "preliminary" and that there become "overwhelming facts" contradicting Hartke's ownership declare.

"Catholic college remains dedicated to its plan to use proceeds from a sale of the gown to endow a school position in the Rome faculty of track, Drama and paintings, which it believes is in keeping with Mercedes McCambridge's common intent and Father Gilbert Hartke's need to aid and develop the tuition's drama software," the observation study.

in keeping with the auction catalog, the item looks in scenes set within the wicked Witch of the West's citadel. It was provided comprehensive with the white shirt Garland wore below. a further of the gingham clothes worn by way of Garland in the movie offered for $1.5 million in 2015.

Bonhams declined CNN's request for remark.

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