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July 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Since 1951 anyone who wins an Oscar must sign an agreement with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences not to sell the trophy without offering it to the Academy for $10 first. But on Tuesday, the Academy filed a lawsuit against the heirs of the late motion picture art director Joseph Wright, who last month sold the Oscar that he won for My Gal Sal for $79,200. Named in the suit were Wright’s family, the Briarbrook auction house and the unknown buyers. The lawsuit is particularly controversial inasmuch as the statuette was awarded to Wright nine years before winners were required to sign the ownership agreement, and the Academy has not taken similar action against the winners or heirs of others who won the trophy prior to 1951. In 2012, fifteen Oscars were auctioned off for $3 million, including one that Herman Mankiewicz received for his Citizen Kane screenplay. That Oscar went for $588,445.