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Tuesday
Dec202011

Orson Welles’ 'Citizen Kane' Oscar Goes on the Auction Block

Robert Caplin/Bloomberg News(LOS ANGELES) -- A rare piece of Hollywood history is up for auction. The only Academy Award ever won by the late Orson Welles is being sold Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The Oscar statuette is the one Welles received for winning the 1941 Academy Award for best screenplay for his classic film Citizen Kane.  Welles shared the award with Herman Mankiewicz. Citizen Kane is recognized by many as the greatest film of all time.

Nate D. Sanders, owner of Nate D. Sanders Auctions, is selling the Oscar, and tells ABC News Radio there’s a bit of tarnish on the statuette, but it’s still looking good after 70 years. Sanders says the Oscar could fetch as much as one million dollars, and he says it would be worth it because it’s the only Academy Award Welles ever won. In 1971, the Academy did present Welles with an honorary Award for his contribution to film.

Sanders says it’s rare to find an Oscar available for sale, because since 1950, the Academy has required all recipients to sign a contract giving the film industry organization the right to buy the statue back for $1.

Sanders says Welles believed that he had lost his Citizen Kane Oscar, but it resurfaced after his death in 1994 and was bequeathed to his daughter.  Beatrice Welles and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences went to court in 2002 over the statuette, and a judge ruled that she had the right to sell it.

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ABC News Radio