Orson Welles' 'Citizen Kane' Oscar Returning to Auction

1945 Oscar for Best Art Direction

Est. sale price: $60,000-$80,000

Hans Drier won this Academy Award for his art direction in Frenchman's Creek starring Joan Fontaine, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Oscars rarely come up for sale as the Academy has vigorously enforced rules prohibiting the sale of the statuettes, though some that have already been sold are outside its reach. 

Citizen Kane may be regarded as one of the best films ever made, but the sole Oscar awarded to the movie can't seem to find a lasting home. 

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Orson Welles, who won it for best screenplay, lost the statue at some point after being awarded it in 1942. It was later found after his death in 1985 and put up for auction 1994 by a cinematographer who said Welles gave it to him as a form of payment. 

Beatrice Welles, the filmmaker's daughter sued to get the statue back, but later auctioned it off in 2003 (after a legal battle with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) to the Dax Foundation, a nonprofit, who then attempted to auction it again in 2007. 

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Now, the statue, which has been slightly tarnished with age, is set to hit the auction block again via L.A. auction house Nate D. Sanders Dec. 20 (the seller has requested to remain anonymous). 

The statue is expected to fetch between $60,000 and $1 million. 

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Welles' Academy artifact is just the latest in a slew of Hollywood memorabilia being sold to the public as of late. Items from Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Steve McQueen and The Wizard of Oz have all been sold recently.