You Can Buy Truman Capote's Ashes

But why would you want to
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2016 9:21 AM CDT
This 1966 file photo shows author Truman Capote in a studio recording the narration for his film adaptation of his short story, "A Christmas Memory," in New York.   (AP Photo, file)

(Newser) – Have $4,000 to $6,000 burning a hole in your pocket and really weird taste in souvenirs? Consider bidding on Truman Capote's ashes when they go up for auction Sept. 23 and 24 in LA. Capote left the ashes to his friend, and Johnny Carson's wife, Joanne Carson; oddly, they were stolen and recovered twice. After she died, the Carson estate wasn't sure what to do with them, and ultimately it was decided that Julien's Auctions would put them up for sale to the highest bidder, Vanity Fair reports. A Julien's press release about the sale calls the ashes, which are held in a memorial Japanese carved wooden box, "unprecedented and certainly extraordinary."

Julien's CEO Darren Julien admits to Vanity Fair that the auction house pondered the ethical implications of selling human remains, but ultimately, "this is probably what he would have wanted done." (The Washington Post notes that "broadly speaking," buying human remains that weren't stolen from a grave and aren't Native American is legal in the US.) The author "loved the element of shock. He loved publicity," Julien says. "And I’m sure he’s looking down laughing, and saying, ‘That’s something I would have done.’ He was a larger-than-life character." Julien's has previously sold William Shatner's kidney stone, and Christie's sold Napoleon's penis. (Read more Truman Capote stories.)

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