Garland Museum Reacts to the Finding of Dorothy’s Missing Red Slippers
The museum and birthplace of Judy Garland is thrilled to have a piece of their home back... sort of.
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn.- After finding Judy Garland’s iconic ruby red slippers that were stolen from the museum in her home 13 years ago, officials were excited to have a part of their history back.
Judy Garland was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MN. One of America’s most cherished actresses, her life and iconic character of Dorothy from the 1939 classic film “The Wizard of Oz” inspired the Judy Garland Children’s museum where her childhood home and personal artifacts used in the movie are on display. This includes Dorothy’s dress, the carriage from the movie and her iconic red slippers.
The slippers were displayed in a glass case on a pedestal in the center of the room.
Museum chairman Ray Nikkels says the slippers were a crowd favorite.
“Thousands of people came. Literally from all over the world. You would be amazed to see the guest list to see where the people came from and how far they would drive out of their way just for a glance at the ruby slippers.”
But in 2005, the slippers were stolen. Nikkel says he remembers the day it happened. Things at the museum were frantic. For years no one knew where the slippers were, despite made up conspiracies like being thrown in a lake.
Tuesday morning, however, the museum received a phone call that the slippers were declared found.
“It was a little bit like the phone call the night they were stolen ad the next morning. It was like this is a prank, this can’t actually be happening.”
Officials aren’t sure if the slippers are going to make it back to their original home in the museum.
Nikkel believes that the pair of slippers could be worth up to $6 million, but to the Garland Museum family, it’s not about the money of the worth. The museum is hoping to have a say alongside investors and the FBI on the future of the recovered slippers.
“For us, they just belong here. They represent something, that anything is possible. And that’s what the movie was about, and the slippers, so we’re really hopeful that we’ll put the money aside and somehow find a way for the slippers to come back to Grand Rapids, Minnesota where they really belong.”