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Friday, June 24, 2022

Judge bans sale of long-running ‘Wizard of Oz’ dress

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – The dramatic story of an iconic movie costume from “The Wizard of Oz” that’s been around for decades underwent another plot twist on Monday when a judge halted its planned sale at auction.

One of the blue and white gingham dresses Judy Garland wore for her role as Dorothy in 1939 was set to be part of an auction of Hollywood memorabilia in Los Angeles on Tuesday, organized by the Catholic University of America. was put up for sale. Last year the dress was rediscovered in a shoe box while preparing for renovations at the school.

Auctioneer Bonhams listed a pre-sale estimate of $800,000 to $1.2 million before withdrawing the dress.

But US District Judge Paul Gardefe in Manhattan moved a motion for a preliminary injunction after hearing a lawsuit filed by a relative of Father Gilbert Hartke, who worked at the university and was given a dress in 1973.

Hartke died in 1986; A niece, 81-year-old Barbara Ann Hartke, filed suit against the school and the auctioneer earlier this month after media reported that the dress was going up for auction.

In her suit, she stated that as the closest living relative of her uncle, the dress belonged to him. She says it was given to her as a personal gift by actress Mercedes McCambridge.

According to her lawsuit, the university “has no ownership of the dress … There is no document to show that the deceased donated the dress, either formally or informally, to a Catholic university.”

In a filing opposing the request for an injunction trial, lawyers for the school stated that as a Dominican priest, Hartke had vowed “never to accept gifts in his personal capacity” and that the dress should therefore be treated as a property of any property. could not be considered a part.

Catholic university officials said the costume had been missing for decades after it was given to Hartke, the then head of the drama department.

Garland wore several versions of the costume during the filming of the film; Auctioneer Bonhams said the one found at a Catholic university was one of two that still had the blouse with it, and that Garland wore it on scene at the Wicked Witch’s castle in the West.

In a statement, lawyers for the university said, “We look forward to presenting in court the overwhelming evidence that contradicts our position and Ms. Hartke’s claim during this trial.”

An email was sent to Hartke’s lawyer seeking comment.

World Nation News Desk
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