Sean Michaels 

Elvis Presley’s former crypt pulled from auction

Fans' complaints stop sale of singer's tomb going ahead, just one day before bidding was due to start
  
  

Elvis Presley's former crypt has been pulled from an auction in Los Angeles. Just one day before bidding was set to open on the singer's tomb, Julien's Auctions bowed to fans' complaints that the site should become a memorial.

Presley's body spent just two months at Forest Hill cemetery, in Memphis, Tennessee, before he and his mother were disinterred and buried at Graceland. But the private mausoleum attracted considerable interest when it was listed for sale in May; bidding was scheduled to open at $100,000 (£64,000), at an auction last weekend. "Only one person can say, 'Hey, I'm going to be buried where Elvis Presley was,'" Darren Julien, the auction house president, told the New York Times.

Instead, Julien's announced on Friday that Lot 796A would be withdrawn from their Music Icons sale. This wasn't the first item to be removed from bidding: earlier this month, the auction house cancelled the sale of a personal letter from Michael Jackson to his then-partner, Lisa Marie Presley. Whereas the letter was withdrawn due to a request from Lisa Marie herself, the crypt's sale was criticised by Presley's fans, more than 10,000 of whom signed a petition condemning the auction. Julien's will not sell the tomb "until Forest Hill finds a plan that best suits the interests of the fans while respecting and preserving the memory of Elvis Presley", they announced.

Other items at auction included one of Presley's personal telephones, which sold for $20,480 (£13,139), and a dress worn by Amy Winehouse in her music video for Rehab, which sold for $34,375 (£22,053).