A dress worn by Judy Garland in 'The Wizard of Oz' has finally been located.
The legendary blue and white garment worn by the actress' character Dorothy in the iconic 1939 film vanished just a year after it was gifted to the Catholic University of America (CUA) in 1972 but it was recently found by Matt Ripa, a lecturer at the university.
He shared in a Catholic University press release: "I had looked in our archives, storage closets etc. to no avail. I assumed it was a tall tale.
"I was curious what was inside and opened the trash bag and inside was a shoebox and inside the shoebox was the dress. I couldn't believe it.
"Needless to say, I have found my interesting things in the Hartke during my time at CUA, but I think this one takes the cake."
The university has confirmed that the dress will now be properly preserved.
They added: "It can now be preserved in proper storage in a temperature – and humidity – controlled environment so that hopefully, for many more years, it can be a source of 'hope, strength and courage' for Catholic University students."
The university also wrote on Instagram: "In 1973, Catholic University’s @cuatower newspaper wrote about a gift to Catholic University meant to be a source of “hope, strength, and courage” to students. The gift was a dress that is believed to have been worn by Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz.
"It was given to Rev. Gilbert Hartke, illustrious head of the drama programme, by actress Mercedes McCambridge, who served as artist-in-residence at CatholicU in 1972.
"For many years, it was rumoured that the dress was still located in Hartke, the building named after the priest, but no one knew exactly where. While preparing for some renovations last month, Matt Ripa, M.F.A. 2008, lecturer and operations coordinator for the @cua_drama in @cuamusicdramaart, rediscovered Dorothy's Dress."