Auction has been cancelled

Alexandra Topping writes following in a article on Guardian's website, 15 April 2009:

"A huge auction of Michael Jackson memorabilia from his Neverland estate was cancelled yesterday with auctioneers agreeing to return all the items to the singer.

The auction, which was set to include a wide range of assets taken from Jackson's former home near Santa Barbara, including the crystal glove worn in the Billie Jean video, was called off after the King of Pop filed a lawsuit last month demanding the return of certain items.

Due to take place on 22-25 April, the auction catalogue included items as diverse as Jackson's jewel-encrusted concert jackets to the gates of the Neverland ranch, and was expected to raise up to $20m (£13m).

A joint statement from Jackson spokesman Tohme R Tohme and auction organiser Darren Julien announced that Julien's Auctions had cancelled the sale but would prolong its exhibition of the items until April 25, after which Jackson would take back the items.

What will happen to the items once they are back in Jackson's possession remains unclear. A statement from his representative said "there was so much interest from so many of Jackson's fans that instead of putting the items in the hands of private collectors, Tohme and Julien's Auctions have made arrangements that will allow the collection to be shared with and enjoyed by Jackson's fans for many years to come."

The public can currently see the collection, organised into stage wear and music memorabilia, toys and "Disneyana", at the former Robinsons May building in Beverly Hills, for a $20 entrance fee.

Online bidding for the belongings had already begun, with winners to be determined at the live auction, according to the Los Angeles Times. The proceeds would have gone to Jackson and a music charity, but the singer's representatives said that he would make a "substantial" donation to the MusiCares charity.

Julien, president and chief executive of Julien's Auctions, said: "We reached a resolution and we're very happy about it. It allows Michael to retain ownership of his possessions. He contracted us to conduct the auction and had a change of mind for whatever reason. And we honour and respect that. We're very happy with the outcome."

It is thought that nearly $2m was spent organising the cancelled sale, but the auction house was happy about the agreement. Julien added: "Sure, I'm disappointed that the auction is not going to take place. But I'm happy that the exhibition will continue."

Posted by: Simon

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2009-04-19 @ 19:30:09

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