The famous ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz have been recovered following their theft 13 years ago. In an operation led by the Grand Rapids Police Department and the FBI, the red slippers were found in Minneapolis.
The shoes, which were one of the three pairs worn by the star, were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids Michigan, where they were on display. One morning in August 2005, an intruder broke a window of the museum and smashed the display box. They snatched the shoes without sounding any alarms or leaving any fingerprints. Only a single red sequin remained.
Since their disappearance, rumours spread surrounding the whereabouts of the slippers. Some believed they were thrown into the Mississippi River. A film was made in 2015 about the mystery entitled Who Stole the Ruby Slippers?. An anonymous donor even offered a $1 Million reward for information on the shoes.
The ruby slippers, which are covered in over 2,300 red sequins, are considered to be one of the most valuable props in film history. The pair is insured for $1 Million, but it is estimated their value is double or triple this figure.
Michael Shaw, the owner, was ecstatic to hear of the shoes’ recovery. He recalls his devastation when the shoes first went missing. Shaw told CBS News “My knees buckled when I was on the phone and they said the shoes were stolen and the only thing I could blurt out was ‘Get them back!’”.
The shoes were recovered in pristine condition. The FBI confirmed their authenticity by comparing them to another pair in the Smithsonian. Shaw was delighted saying: “It turns out they’re not only intact they are as pristine, I was told, as when I put them on display. So yay!”
The FBI has not released more information on the shoe’s recovery and, as of yet, no arrests have been made.
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