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November 11, 2014

Philadelphia Museum Sues Maurice Sendak Estate Over Rare Books

The Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia is suing the estate and foundation of author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, claiming they have not complied with his wish to bequeath a multimillion-dollar collection of rare books to the institution, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The creator of beloved children's books Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen, who died in 2012, was a longtime Rosenbach donor and board member. His will directed his executors and the museum to negotiate a deal on the bequest. The talks have not yielded an agreement, and the estate has turned over fewer than half of the hundreds of books involved, according to the complaint filed last week in Connecticut, where Mr. Sendak lived.

The Sendak estate is planning a Jan. 21 Christie's auction of as-yet-unspecified items from the late author's collection. The Rosenbach is seeking a court order barring any transfer or disposition of the books until the legal dispute is resolved. Attorneys and officials on both sides declined to comment or did not return the Inquirer's calls.