Two Oscars won by silent film legend Mary Pickford are on their way to the open market, and the Motion Picture Academy of America is suing to stop the sale. The academy claims that 1950 bylaws give them the right to buy each statue for the nominal sum of $10, the BBC reports. Organization officials fret that the awards would be “cheapened” by a public sale.
Pickford won the Best Actress Oscar in 1930 and an honorary award in 1975. The icons have changed hands via inheritance several times, and the current owner recently tried to sell one for $500,000. The disconsolate MPAA has cited Pickford’s involvement in the industry—including a founding role at the academy—as evidence that she’d be mortified by a public sale.