Academy unhappy but helpless to stop Oscar auction

Oscar statues are seen at the Kodak Thea

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Oscar statues on display at the former Kodak Theatre

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is not unhappy with but unable to prevent plans to auction off 15 Oscar statuettes.

The academy says its hands are tied in blocking the Tuesday sale by Nate D. Sanders Auctions because the statuettes were awarded prior to 1950, when a "winners agreement" was instituted banning the sale of Oscars.

"Oscars should be won, not purchased," the academy said in a statement, adding that it had no "legal means of stopping the commoditization of these particular statuettes."

The Sanders Co. expects its total Oscar inventory, which includes Herman Mankiewicz's 1941 screenplay award for "Citizen Kane," to command more than $1 million.

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