Entertainment & Arts

Oscar statuettes go up for auction

Oscar statuettes
Image caption The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences frowns on the resale of its coveted statuettes

Fifteen Oscar statuettes are to be auctioned next week in Los Angeles, two days after this year's Academy Awards.

Auctioneers Nate D Sanders said it was the largest collection of Academy Awards to go under the hammer to date.

It includes Oscars won for Hollywood classics such as Wuthering Heights and The Best Years of Our Lives.

The awards can be legitimately sold because they were presented prior to the Academy imposing a ban on their coveted gold honours being resold.

The agreement it requires winners to sign was introduced in 1950 and states they can only sell their Oscars back to the Academy for the nominal sum of $1 (63p).

Organisers expected the 15 Oscars to fetch in the region of $2m (£1.27m) if they are all purchased at Tuesday's online auction.

Last December the Oscar Orson Welles won for writing his 1941 film Citizen Kane sold for $861,542 (£548,254).

Nearly twice that amount was fetched in 1999 when the late Michael Jackson snapped up the best picture Oscar won by Gone with the Wind in 1940.

One of the most sought-after lots is likely to be the best picture Oscar presented to the Noel Coward adaptation Cavalcade.

Organisers said the award - presented in March 1934 - is "the earliest best picture Oscar to ever be offered in an auction".

Film lovers in New York can get their hands on an Oscar for nothing this week at a display in the city's Grand Central train station.

Members of the public can line up to have their photo taken holding an actual Oscar statuette as part of the Meet the Oscars exhibition, which runs until Sunday in the terminal's Vanderbilt Hall.

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