One of the most famous Oscar statuettes in history has disappeared. The Best Picture Oscar that was awarded to “Gone With the Wind” at the 1940 ceremony, which was later purchased by pop superstar Michael Jackson, is missing, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“When Michael Jackson died unexpectedly in 2009 at age 50, the executors of his estate began taking inventory of the mountains of valuable (and often bizarre) assets the entertainer had left behind,” THR reports. “But one prized Jackson possession eluded their investigation: the Best Picture Oscar awarded to legendary producer David O. Selznick for the 1939 classic ‘Gone With the Wind.'”
Jackson reportedly paid $1.54 million for the statuette in a Sotheby’s auction in 1999, even though its value had been estimated at $300,000. The price remains a record for an Oscar statue. The THR report notes that the “Gone With the Wind” statuette was handed out before the Academy implemented rules against selling the trophies.
It is presumed that Jackson kept the prized item either at his Los Angeles home or at his Neverland estate in Santa Barbara County. “A Jackson family member might have absconded with the trophy, it might simply be hidden and unaccounted for in a storage facility with other possessions, or it might have been stolen during the commotion surrounding his death,” THR notes.