There’s no place like home! For Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, of course. This iconic statement has never been truer now that her stolen pair from The Wizard of Oz has reportedly been found after a decade. The pair was previously snatched from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, MN, in 2005 after someone smashed the window at the museum.
However, according to the New York Post, the FBI plans to release details on the finding of these shoes 13 years later. They were previously insured at a whopping $1 million considering an anonymous donor offered the hefty award to anyone who found the slippers, but the offer expired after the tenth anniversary of them going missing.
Technically, there are multiple pairs of ruby-red slippers floating around. One pair was acquired by the National Museum of American History, for example, while actress Debbie Reynolds owned another. Actually, a pair of the iconic shoes from the 1939 musical film recently hit the auction block with a seven-figure starting price.
According to a Ruby Red Slippers chronology cited by Moments in Time, the size 6B slippers up for auction were used by MGM for publicity purposes. Then, in 1940, 16-year-old Roberta Jefferies Bauman won the pair as the second prize in a “Name the Ten Best Movies of 1939” contest. Roberta owned the shoes for 48 years, displaying them only for the benefit of children. In 1988, the shoes were sold for $150,000 to Anthony Landini, who put them on long-term exhibition at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios, then known as Disney’s MGM Studios. And in 2000, the pair was sold to the current owner for $600,000. Now, Moments in Time is starting the bidding at $6 million.
In L. Frank Baum’s 1900 book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the slippers are silver, but The Wizard of Oz co-screenwriter Noel Langley reportedly changed the color to red to take advantage of the Technicolor film process. Now these bejeweled shoes have achieved legendary status.
“The ruby slippers transcend Hollywood costume design and have the power to transport us to the limits of our imagination,” Victoria and Albert Museum guest curator Deborah Nadoolman Landis told The Independent after she was able to bring a pair to Europe for the first time in 2012. “These precious shoes exemplify the best of cinema storytelling because they evoke memory and emotion.” We’d love to get our hands (or feet, in this case) on them!