Million-dollar reward offered for 'Wizard of Oz' slippers

An anonymous benefactor is offering a million-dollar (€903,000) reward for the safe return of the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie.

This August will mark the 10 years since the shoes were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, which is Garland's home town.

John Kelsch, who is the executive director of the museum has said that the slippers were insured for $1m but that they could now be worth $2m or even $3m now.

Three other pairs of the slippers exist. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences bought a set for its museum in 2012, with actor Leonardo DiCaprio named as the primary benefactor of the sale as his donations to the Academy Foundation enabled the purchase.

At the time Academy CEO Dawn Hudson issued a press release in which she praise DiCaprio's involvement. "Leo's passionate leadership has helped us bring home this legendary piece of movie history," she said.

Another pair are on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington as part of its Icons of American Culture exhibition, and the third pair are in a private collection.

The shoes were originally discovered by a costume designer called Kent Warner, who found them in the 1970s when he was going through the MGM film studios lot while he was helping to set up a wardrobe auction.

The $1m will be given as a reward to anyone who is able to give credible information about the exact location of the slippers and the name of the person who took them.

Editor's Pick