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Academy Unhappy But Helpless To Stop Oscar Auction

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Nate Sanders displays the collection of Oscar statuettes that his auction company will sell online to the highest bidder on February 24, 2012 in Brentwood, California. (credit: Toby Canham/Getty Images)

Nate Sanders displays the collection of Oscar statuettes that his auction company will sell online to the highest bidder on February 24, 2012 in Brentwood, California. (credit: Toby Canham/Getty Images)

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BEVERLY HILLS (AP) — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is not pleased with plans to auction off 15 Oscar statuettes from such films as “Citizen Kane,” ”Wuthering Heights” and “Little Women.”

But 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.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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