UNITED STATES

Judge blocks university’s auction of ‘Wizard of Oz’ dress

A federal judge in New York blocked the auction on Tuesday 24 May of a dress worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz that had been expected to fetch up to US$1 million or more for the Catholic University of America, writes Dan Mangan for CNBC.

Monday’s injunction barring a sale of the dress by Bonhams auction house in Los Angeles came more than two weeks after a Wisconsin woman, Barbara Hartke, sued to stop the sale, claiming it belonged to the estate of her late uncle, the Reverend Gilbert Hartke. The lawsuit will proceed in Manhattan federal court.

Judge Paul Gardephe ordered Catholic University, which is located in Washington, DC, and Bonhams not to sell the dress until the lawsuit is resolved. In its statement, Catholic University said: “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.”
Full report on the CNBC site