'No place like home': Stolen Wizard of Oz slippers found

September 4, 2018
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Ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz which were stolen 13 years ago have been found.

The famous shoes were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, in 2005 after a thief climbed through a window and broke into their display case.

FBI detectives announced on Tuesday they had found the shoes and details of their discovery are due to be revealed.

Insured for $1m (£780,000), police initially offered a $250,000 (£195,000) reward for the shoes and in 2015 a fan in Arizona then offered another $1m.

The shoes had been on loan to the museum from Hollywood memorabilia collector Michael Shaw.

In the famous 1939 film, the sequinned red slippers feature heavily.

Garland’s character, Dorothy, has to click the heels of her slippers three times and repeat “there’s no place like home” to return from the Land of Oz to her tornado-hit Kansas farm.

Jerry Maren presents Judy Garland with a lollipop in the film The Wizard of Oz.
Image:
Judy Garland played Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz in 1939

The shoes are made from about a dozen different materials, including wood pulp, silk thread, glass, plastic and gelatin.

The Wizard of Oz was presented in both black and white, and colour – a first for the industry.

It was a box office hit and won multiple Academy Awards, including the Oscars for best picture and best cinematography.

Three other pairs of ruby slippers Garland wore in the film are held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in California, the Smithsonian museum in Washington DC and another private collector.

Incidentally, in the L Frank Baum book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy has silver shoes rather than ruby slippers.

Garland, born Frances Gumm, lived in Grand Rapids until she was four-and-a-half-years-old, when her family moved to Los Angeles.

The Judy Garland Museum opened in 1975 in her old house and claims to have the world’s largest collection of Garland and Wizard of Oz memorabilia.



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