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2002-Apr-29: Sir Paul Blocks Auction Of His Hey Jude Lyrics

Today, with a last minute court order, Sir Paul has prevented Christie's from selling his handwritten lyrics to Hey Jude.  (See April 26)  As this document is of great sentimental value to him, having been written to comfort young Julian Lennon during the divorce of his parents, Sir Paul took the matter to the High Court to prevent the sale.  Sir Paul claims the lyrics disappeared from his west London home - either stolen during one of several burglaries of his residence or taken by someone working for him.  They somehow ended up in a London street market stall where they were purchased for 10 pounds ($14.50) by Frenchman Florrent Tessier in the early 1970s.  Monsieur Tessier had them framed and displayed in his home and claims that only recently did he become aware of their tremendous value.  He then sent them to Christie's to be put up for auction.

Richard Morgan, Christie's representative in the case, questioned why Sir Paul had never reported the theft of the lyrics.  He further suggested that Sir Paul go to the auction and bid on the item and then recover the cost in damages if he can prove that he is the rightful owner.  However, High Court Justice Laddie ruled in favor of Sir Paul, saying:

"Sir Paul would be made to bid at auction for something he thinks is his property. Everybody knows he has a deep pocket and the price will go up and up.  He may have to keep on bidding, against the risk that his claim to be the owner of the document may not resolve in his favor at trial."
Having received the court order, a spokeswoman for Christies has stated that , "The lyrics have been withdrawn from the sale." No additional comments were given.  The court has ordered that the lyrics remain at Christie's until their ownership had been decided.
Christie's will take no part in any action over ownership.  That matter will need to be resolved by Monsieur Tessier and Sir Paul.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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