Trial over Pickford Oscar opens in L.A.

Heirs of the silent film star want to sell the statue

Opening statements have begun in a trial that will decide the fate of an Oscar won by silent film star Mary Pickford.

Jurors will decide whether to allow the sale of a statuette won by Pickford for 1929's "Coquette." Heirs of Pickford's third husband, Buddy Rogers, say the actress wanted the award sold and proceeds donated to charity and they're just trying to carry out that wish.

But the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the Oscars each year, claim they should be able to buy back the award for $10. They claim Pickford's award is bound by a rule instituted in the 1950s that the Academy has the right to buy back Oscars before they go to the open market.

Pickford was an early Hollywood icon who was one of the Academy's founders and was given an honorary Oscar in 1976. She died in 1979.
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