I'd like to comment on Orson's will, because its contents are germane to this discussion, especially in light of mteal's suggestion that Welles divided DQ between Oja and Paola. Much of the following information about Welles's will comes from Joe McBride's What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?
It is commonly believed that Welles left his "estate", including the rights to Othello, to his wife Paola Mori, and his unfinished films to his companion Oja Kodar. This is a myth. Welles's will, dated 1982, left his Hollywood home, and its contents, to Oja. Paola got the remainder of Welles's properties, including their Nevada home, and his "pictures, paintings, works of art and other personal effects". His three children each received a bequest of $10,000. That's it.
In 1985, however, Welles signed a "Confirmation of Ownership Rights" affirming that Oja Kodar retained any and all available rights to the works they had done together, and that "Welles would never obtain or receive any interest in and to such rights". "Projects specified in the agreement included TOSOTW, The Dreamers, The Deep, DQ, The Orson Welles Show, One Man Band, Orson Welles Solo" and a bunch of written material, including The Big Brass Ring script. This document crystalized previous "oral agreements" between Oja and Welles. Welles did not will these things to Oja, she owned them before he died. They were always hers, officially at least from June 19, 1985, and unofficially from way before that.
People have always wondered why Beatrice was not disinherited after questioning Oja's ownership of TOSOTW, because Welles included a clause in his will stating that anyone who contested or attacked the will would have their interest in the estate revoked. This is why. Beatrice was not contesting the will; she was contesting a separate document, the "Confirmation", which was not part of the will.
Note what is not included in the above list of works owned by Oja: Magic Show, Filming Othello, Filming the Trial. Interesting, yes? More interesting is the inclusion of DQ. Why is DQ in there? Yes, DQ was unfinished, but it was more a "Paola" project than an "Oja" project. Oja was around for some of the DQ editing in Rome in the early 60's, but Mori, who Welles married in 1953, was around for most of the shooting. She's in it, for God's sake. Paola would not have had a problem with Oja owning any of those other projects, but I suspect she would have had a problem with Oja owning DQ.
We know that Paola Mori had "issues" with Oja after Welles's death, issues that were about to be legally resolved when Paola was killed in a freak auto accident. Paola could not have been contesting Welles's will; she was not disinherited. She must have been contesting the "Confirmation". What was she contesting? Ownership of The Big Brass Ring, or of The Orson Welles Show? I doubt it. But perhaps she was trying to pry loose DQ, the nearly complete work print of which had been collected in Rome by their daughter Beatrice in 1970, and brought to the U.S.
The Wikipedia page on DQ accurately mentions where the footage of DQ currently resides, but adds, mysteriously, that additional footage resides "in at least one other private collection".
What the hell does that mean?
Welles might have given Oja ownership of DQ because he did not want it shown after his death as a "completed" film had he not finished it by then, and released it himself, and because he trusted Oja to follow his wishes. In her address before the screening of DQ at Cannes in 1986, Oja admitted her reluctance to showing any of DQ to an audience. "I am a little worried about having agreed to show some extracts of Don Quixote which Orson never wished to show anybody before it was finished...But it was easy for me, thanks to the warm and friendly presence of Costa-Gavras, to give the Cinematheque, which Orson liked and respected, the negative of Don Quixote. It was much more difficult for me to accept that certain portions of the developed film should be shown on the occasion of this tribute." I see no reason not to take Oja at her word.
Oja has been pretty consistent, and insistent, that only 40 minutes of footage in her possession were edited by Welles, although she has cagily affirmed that "Orson had a very carefully worked out editing plan" that she turned over to Franco. If Oja is aware of the work print we have been discussing on this site, she is a very good...fabulist.
Beatrice, on the other hand, and very oddly, has been completely silent about DQ. One must ask why? Because Oja owns it? That hasn't stopped her interfering with TOSOTW, and she's gone after TOE and Kane, where she has even less standing. Oja swore we would never see an English language version of Franco's awful DQ cut, then a DVD shows up and not a peep out of Beatrice. Beatrice knows about the fabled work print, because she had it in her hands in 1970. After the Franco mess she should have been screaming from the rooftops.
Doesn't make sense, unless there is more to this story than meets the eye.
I've mentioned Oja as being part of a Wellesian conspiracy to prevent people from making money off his image after his death, but it has been Beatrice who has been relentless in going after anyone who has tried to release an "Orson Welles Film". That was her beef with the restored TOE release, misleadingly labeled Welles's director's cut, and her interference with the Showtime/TOSOTW project, which she insists proceed as a documentary, and not as a Welles film. Beatrice did not raise a stink about the Arkadin reconstruction, because it was not advertised as a director's cut. She was somewhat troublesome over CHIMES, but so were a lot of other people, and now that the rights situation seems to have been cleared up a restoration is underway.
Beatrice may be staying quiet over DQ because Oja is not trying to release it as anything close to a finished work, and Oja might just be happy to play along for her own reasons.
Whatever the case, that work print exists, somewhere; I am convinced of it. Whether we'll ever see it remains to be seen.