GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (NEWSnet/AP) — The Minnesota hometown of Judy Garland is raising money to purchase ruby slippers she wore in "The Wizard of Oz."

The footwear was stolen from a museum and later transferred to an auction company.

Grand Rapids is holding a fundraiser at its annual Judy Garland Festival, soliciting donations to bring back the slippers after an auction company takes them on an international tour.

“They could sell for $1 million, they could sell for $10 million. They’re priceless,” Joe Maddalena, Heritage Auctions executive vice president, told Minnesota Public Radio. “Once they’re gone, all the money in the world can’t buy them back.”

Funds will supplement the $100,000 set aside this year by Minnesota lawmakers to purchase the slippers.

Heritage Auctions received the slippers from Michael Shaw, the memorabilia collector who initially owned the shoes. In 2005, Shaw loaned them to Judy Garland Museum. That summer, someone smashed through a display case and stole the shoes.

The man who stole the slippers, Terry Jon Martin, 76, pleaded guilty in October 2023 to theft of a major artwork. 

In March, a second man, 76-year-old Jerry Hal Saliterman, was charged in connection with the theft.

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