This 'Citizen Kane' Oscar statue is the most expensive ever sold


'Citizen Kane' is a 1941 movie directed by Orson Welles that has been critically acclaimed by the American Film Institute as the greatest American film of all time – The movie even earned a 100 percent on film critic website Rotten Tomatoes, a feat that's a modern day near-impossibility.

The film won an Oscar in 1942 for Best Screenplay, and statues were given to both Welles and his co-writer, Herman Mankiewicz's.

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Mankiewicz's statue sold for a solid $588,455 in 2012, but it was Welles' own Oscar that came bearing a much heavier price tag -- And a much more complicated story.

The final price of Welles' Oscar? $861,142.

Here's what happened.

True to the mystery theme of Welles' finest film, his Oscar statue went missing and wasn't resurfaced until nearly 10 years after his death when a cinematographer attempted to auction off the statue in 1994.

Beatrice Welles, Orson Welle's daughter, sued for repossession of the statue and won, and tried to auction the statue off in 2003.

But the legal battles didn't end there – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sued Beatrice Welles for contesting the agreement the Academy instated in 1950 that banned the sale of Oscar statues, the only exception being selling the statue back to the Academy for $1.

Here's the catch -- 'Citizen Kane' won the Oscar in 1942, which gave Welles the legal right to sell the statue to the Dax Foundation in 2007.

The non-profit unsuccessfully attempted to auction the statue at Sotheby's New York where it was estimated to go for $1 million.

The statue went back up for auction by Nate D. Sanders' auction house where it went for the whopping price of $861,142.

Yes, just shy of $1 million.

In a statement, Nate D. Sanders attributed the massive price tag to the public's love of cinema:

"People continue to be drawn to the magic of the movies and were extremely enthusiastic bidding on the Oscars, which accounted for the high demand and sales prices."

Among the bidders was one familiar famous face – None other than magician David Copperfield, whose first television special was hosted by Orson Welles.

The buyer (and owner) of the statue remains anonymous.

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