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Citizen Kane Oscar sells for £552k

The Academy Award statuette won by Orson Welles for the original screenplay of Citizen Kane has fetched more than 861,000 dollars (£552,000) at auction.

Nate D Sanders Auctions spokesman Sam Heller said bidders from around the world, including magician David Copperfield, vied for the Oscar at the sale in Los Angeles.

The 1942 Oscar, thought to be lost for decades, surfaced in 1994 when cinematographer Gary Graver tried to sell it. But the sale was stopped by Beatrice Welles, Orson's youngest daughter and sole heir.

Copperfield, who was outbid in the auction, said he admired Welles not only for his cinematic successes, but because he, too, was a magician - Welles hosted Copperfield's first television special.

The auction house, which declined to name the winning bidder, said only a handful of Academy Awards had sold for nearly a million dollars.

Michael Jackson paid 1.54 million dollars (£987,000) in 1999 for the best picture Oscar awarded to David O Selznick for Gone With The Wind.

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