A devoted collector of Wizard of Oz memorabilia has offered a million dollar reward for the return of the famous ‘Ruby Slippers”. The shoes were stolen while on exhibit at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Although the shoes disappeared ten years ago they have never been recovered and are feared lost. The sequinned covered costume accessory has now increased from the original insurance value of $1m to between $2m – $3m and the collector wants them back.
Mark Shaw the Arizona based collector is now offering a $1 million for information leading to the return of his most treasured possession. “It’s the worst nightmare for me,” the Guardian wrote in 2005. “The theft is not only a crime against me, but against children. Those shoes have been used to raise money for Aids, for helping get kids off the street, reading programmes, and for children with Down’s syndrome and autism,” he lamented.
The Ruby Slippers were worn by Dorothy Gale, a character played by Judy Garland (1922–1969) in the MGM film, “Wizard of Oz,” 1939. This fantasy tale about a journey to a magical land was based on the 1900 novel by L. Frank Baum (1856–1919); it had previously been a book, a cartoon, a stage musical, and several silent motion pictures before MGM created its hit film. In addition to its many other merits, the MGM movie ranks as a milestone in the history of Technicolor because of its extensive color sequences set in the Land of Oz. Several pairs of slippers were made for the movie, a common practice with important costumes and props.
Photo: P C Robinson © artlyst 2015