A U.S. district judge blocked the auction of Dorothy's iconic dress from The Wizard of Oz on Monday.
The blue and white gingham dress that Judy Garland wore in the 1939 film was slated to be featured in an auction of Hollywood memorabilia in Los Angeles on Tuesday after it had been missing for decades, according to a report.
It had been found in a shoebox at the Catholic University of America and put up for sale by the university, with pre-sale estimates ranging from $800,000 to $1.2 million, the report noted.
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However, the sale of the dress was halted after U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan granted a motion for a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit regarding the dress.
A suit was filed by Barbara Ann Hartke, the niece of Gilbert Hartke.
Hartke was a former employee of the Catholic University of America who was supposedly given Dorothy's dress in 1973.
Hartke filed the suit against the university and Bonhams, the auctioneer, in early May following reports that the dress was going up for auction and alleged that, as her uncle's closest living relative, the iconic dress is hers.
The university "has no ownership interest in the dress as ... there is no documentation demonstrating decedent ever formally or informally donated the dress to Catholic University," her suit reads.
Lawyers for the university opposed Hartke's lawsuit’s request for the injunction in a filing of their own that argued, as a member of the clergy, Hartke's uncle had vowed never to "accept gifts in his personal capacity."
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"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," lawyers for the university said.