Dear Oscar: I think that most of the explanation is probably already in the public record. It seems to have turned on the death of Countess Paola Mori Welles. Obviously, under the terms of Welles' will, the Oscar should belong to Beatrice, but Welles had already given it to Gary Graver.
"Possession is 9/10 of the law," someone once said
If we are to believe the AP Release Jeff posted, however, the matter becomes more complicated than our often black and white discussions here:
"Orson Welles' original Oscar surfaced in 1994 in possession of Gary Graver, a cinematographer who had worked with the director. Graver sold the statuette for $50,000 to Bay Holdings, which then offered it for sale through Sotheby's auction house.
"When Beatrice Welles heard of it, she sued to block the sale of the Oscar, which eventually was returned to her. After she offered the original Oscar for auction, the academy notified her she was obligated to return it under the agreement she signed for the duplicate statuette."
In other words, in the end, for both parties, it was the money. By selling it to EBay Holding Company, Graver gave up the high moral ground.
And sadly, it seems unlikely "we the members of Wellesnet are unlikely to raise the $ 4 million for TOSOTW any time soon." As long as we don't turn a finger.
Perhaps, we have become other figures in the wallpaper.