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Lupita’s Oscar statuette worth Sh86 only?

As Lupita Nyong’o won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress on Sunday, she kept a tight hold on her prize.

But what if she ever wanted to sell the Oscar statuette?

Well, she could – at a paltry $1 (Sh86) despite the Oscar statuettes costing $400 (Sh34,000) each to make.

And that transaction should only be made to the association that gave the prize to her – the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hosts the annual awards show.

A regulation on the awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website states:

“Academy Award winners have no rights whatsoever in the Academy copyright or goodwill in the Oscar statuette or in its trademark and service mark registrations. Award winners must comply with these rules and regulations. Award winners shall not sell or otherwise dispose of the Oscar statuette, nor permit it to be sold or disposed of by operation of law, without first offering to sell it to the Academy for the sum of $1.00. This provision shall apply also to the heirs and assigns of Academy Award winners who may acquire a statuette by gift or bequest”.

Yet according to Forbes, although the academy disapproves such a sale, that is exactly what is happening.

The magazine notes that industry experts speculate that 150 Oscars have been sold since the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929.

In addition, half of these are likely gray-market sales involving post-1950 statuettes, and those 8.5-pound golden statuettes are fetching as much as $1.5m (Sh130m) on the open market.

Prices are lower for post-1950 Oscars because they can’t be sold again as easily, but a big-name Oscar rarely goes for less than $60,000 (Sh5.2m).