It has been 13 years since the legendary ruby slippers were stolen out of their display at The Judy Garland Museum.
Even though they did not reappear on Dorothy’s feet, however, they have finally been recovered by the FBI.
The slippers, which were worn by the beloved movie starlet in The Wizard of Oz, had been taken from the museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota back in 2005. There was no security footage of the theft, and apart from the broken shards of plexiglass that had formerly housed the slippers, all that was left of the slippers was a single red sequin.
The FBI announced the return of the slippers at a press conference earlier this week after a specialist verified that the shoes were authentic. Investigators disclosed few details on how the slippers were recovered, but they did say that the investigation was ongoing and there may be arrests in the future. In the mean time, anyone with information about the crime is encouraged to contact law enforcement.
The future of the shoes is currently unknown. There are currently three other surviving pairs of the slippers that were used during the filming of the movie, and this particular pair had previously belonged to a private collector named Michael Shaw.
Before they were stolen, Shaw would loan the slippers to museums, displays, and exhibits in exchange for money which he would often donate to children’s charities, according to The New York Times.
Though it is “unlikely” that the slippers will be returned to Shaw after he was paid by the insurance company following the theft, he says that he “teared up” upon hearing about their recovery.
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