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Public sale of Judy Garland ‘Wizard of Oz’ costume in jeopardy as choose units listening to on possession lawsuit

A foyer card from the movie ‘The Wizard Of Oz,’ reveals a movie nonetheless of a scene wherein American actress Judy Garland (1922 – 1969) (as Dorothy) wipes tears from the eyes of actor Bert Lahr (1895 – 1967) (because the Cowardly Lion), whereas watched by Jack Haley (1898 – 1979) (because the Tin Man) (left), and Ray Bolger (1904 – 1987) (because the Scarecrow), 1939. The movie was directed by Victor Fleming.

Hulton Archive | Moviepix | Getty Pictures

The deliberate public sale of a long-lost costume worn by Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz” is in jeopardy after a federal choose on Monday ordered a listening to on why he shouldn’t block the sale pending the result of a lawsuit over its possession.

The listening to in U.S. District Court docket in Manhattan was set for Might 23, a day earlier than Bonham’s public sale home is presently scheduled to public sale the costume on behalf of The Catholic College of America.

Decide Paul Gardephe’s order scheduling the court docket session got here after a lawyer for Wisconsin resident Barbara Hartke requested him to cease the costume’s sale till the lawsuit might be determined.

Hartke, 81, claims in her swimsuit that the costume is the authorized property of the property of her late uncle, the Rev. Gilbert Hartke, who based Catholic College’s drama faculty.

Barbara Hartke, as an inheritor, might be one of many folks to inherit the costume if she wins the lawsuit.

A blue and white checked gingham costume, worn by Judy Garland within the “Wizard of Oz,” hangs on show, Monday, April 25, 2022, at Bonhams in New York.

Katie Vasquez | AP

However the Washington, D.C., college has mentioned it’s the “rightful proprietor” of the costume that was given to Hartke in 1973 by Academy Award-winning actress Mercedes McCambridge.

The college mentioned that Gilbert Harkte’s vow of poverty as a Roman Catholic priest barred him from accepting presents as his private property.

“Fr. Hartke’s property doesn’t have a property curiosity in it,” the college mentioned in a Might 6 assertion.

The blue-and-white gingham costume is considered one of simply two of what are believed to have been six attire made for Garland to sporting the basic “Oz” movie. Bonham’s has estimated the costume might promote for wherever between $800,000 and $1.2 million.

The opposite costume was auctioned in 2015 by Bonham’s for greater than $1.5 million.

Gilbert Hartke’s possession of the costume was well-known at Catholic College after McCambridge gave it to him in appreciation for his help to her as she battled alcoholism.

However the costume was lacking for many years till it was discovered final June in a trash bag above the college mail slots throughout a renovation of the college’s Hartke Theater.

Amin Al-Sarraf, a lawyer for Catholic College, in a press release to CNBC, mentioned he and different attorneys for the college later this week will submit authorized briefs defending the public sale.

Al-Sarraf famous that the momentary restraining order issued Monday by Gardephe barring the public sale for “is simply efficient till the listening to, so it doesn’t stop the public sale from going ahead until the Court docket grants the injunction request on the 23rd..

“We stay up for the chance to current the overwhelming proof supporting Catholic College’s possession of the costume to the Court docket subsequent week,” he mentioned.

Barbara Hartke’s lawyer and Bonham’s didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

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