New York federal court
judge has blocked the auction of a dress that actress
wore for the 1939 movie "
The Wizard of Oz"
and whose sale price was expected to
exceed one million dollars
, local media reported. .
The already mythical
white and blue plaid dress
was going to be auctioned by the
Catholic University of the United States
, but a woman from the state of Wisconsin filed a lawsuit claiming that she is the legitimate owner of the classic
In a preliminary hearing, a judge in the Southern District of New York ordered the suspension of the auction, scheduled for Tuesday in Los Angeles,
until the case is resolved
The Catholic University planned to use the money raised to
provide a new teaching position
at the School of Music, Theater and Art in Rome.
Both parties will meet in court on
The claimant maintains that the dress belonged to her uncle, who, according to the lawsuit, received the garment in 1973, when he was director of the Theater Department of the Catholic University.
The dress with which
was dragged by a tornado in the state of Kansas to a fantasy world was given to her uncle, actress
who was an artist in residence at the university, indicates the newspaper The New York Times.
According to the complainant, the actress gave the dress to her relative "in a concrete and public way" in gratitude for having helped her in her "
battle against alcohol abuse"
The professor died in 1986 and the complainant claims that he is her
closest living relative.
The New York Times notes that Garland wore several versions of the dress, but only one other is known, which was sold in 2012 for
$480,000 and again in 2015 for about $1.6 million.
The whereabouts of Dorothy's dress was a mystery until it was found by chance last year in
a shoebox while cleaning.
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