For The Ruby Slippers, There’s No Place Like Home

Dorothy Red Slippers

Great news from the world of rubies: Dorothy’s legendary Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz have been found, 13 years after they were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Minn.

The FBI announced the recovery this week after having the slippers authenticated at the Smithsonian Institution, which has an identical pair from the classic movie. The feds didn’t detail how they found them after a long search, or who broke in, smashed a display case and grabbed them in 2005.

“We reached the first goal, the recovery, and it’s a great day,” U.S. Attorney Christopher Myers said. “But we’re not done.”

Propmasters made a number of Ruby Slippers for Judy Garland to wear in the 1939 film, and at least four pairs are known to exist. Estimates of what each pair is worth start at $2 million.

But truth be told, they’re not actually made of rubies. Originally made with beads to look like rubies, the shoes were too heavy, so 2,300 red sequins per shoe did the job instead. That didn’t make them any less iconic.

“They’re more than just a pair of shoes,” Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson said. “They’re an enduring symbol of the power of belief.”

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