Home Politics Judge blocks public sale of Judy Garland's 'Wizard of Oz' costume by Catholic University pending final result of lawsuit

Judge blocks public sale of Judy Garland's 'Wizard of Oz' costume by Catholic University pending final result of lawsuit

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Judge blocks public sale of Judy Garland's 'Wizard of Oz' costume by Catholic University pending final result of 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

A federal decide in New York blocked Tuesday’s scheduled public sale of a costume worn by Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz” that had been anticipated to fetch as much as $1 million or extra for The Catholic University of America.

Monday’s injunction barring a sale of the costume by Bonhams public sale home in Los Angeles got here greater than two weeks after a Wisconsin lady, Barbara Hartke, sued to cease the sale, claiming it belonged to the property of her late uncle, the Rev. Gilbert Hartke. The lawsuit will proceed in Manhattan federal courtroom.

Judge Paul Gardephe ordered Catholic University, which is situated in Washington, D.C., and Bonhams to not promote the costume till the lawsuit is resolved.

Anthony Scordo, the lawyer for Barbara Hartke, in an e mail to CNBC mentioned, “I am pleased with the ruling preventing the sale. I feel the judge carefully reviewed the submissions of all parties and came to a fair result.”

In its assertion, Catholic University mentioned, “The Court’s decision to preserve the status quo was preliminary and did not get to the merits of Barbara Hartke’s claim to the dress. We look forward to presenting our position, and the overwhelming evidence contradicting Ms. Hartke’s claim, to the Court in the course of this litigation.”

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Hartke obtained the “Oz” costume in 1973 as a present from Academy Award-winning actress Mercedes McCambridge whereas serving as head of Catholic University’s drama college, which he based. It will not be identified how MacCambridge obtained the costume from the traditional 1939 movie.

As an inheritor to the priest, Barbara Hartke stands to inherit a fraction of the possession to the costume if she prevails in her lawsuit to show that it belongs to her late uncle’s property.

The costume had been lacking for many years earlier than it was present in a trash bag in a room on the drama college final 12 months. Catholic University then moved to place it up for public sale, producing widespread media protection final month.

The college argues that it’s the authorized proprietor of the costume, as a result of Hartke, as a Roman Catholic priest, had taken a vow of poverty and that the costume was meant to learn the college.

The college additionally submitted affidavits from a grandnephew of Hartke who remembered that “my grand uncle Father Gilbert Hartke said to me that I could not have it as the dress belonged to Catholic University.”

That man, Thomas Kuipers, with a cousin mentioned that they and different descendants of the priest supported the public sale of the costume with the understanding that it was given as a present for the college.

In its assertion, Catholic University mentioned that “it continues to be committed to its plan to use proceeds from a sale of the dress to endow a faculty position in the Rome School of Music, Drama and Art, which it believes is in line with Mercedes McCambridge’s original intent and Father Gilbert Hartke’s desire to support and grow the University’s drama program.”

The costume is one in every of solely two clothes identified to nonetheless exist of the a number of created for Garland to put on in “The Wizard of Oz.”

The different costume was auctioned in 2015 by Bonhams for greater than $1.5 million.   

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