83-year-old Imelda Marcos’s massive shoe collection, estimated around 3,000 pairs, including top U.S. and European brands has astounded the world. However, many of the famous shoes are being destroyed by termites.
In 1986, the shoe stash of former first lady of Phillipines, Imelda Marcos was stored on shelves in the basement of the Malacanang Palace in Manila before being transferred to the National Museum. But part of Imelda Marcos’ shoe stash has been badly damaged by termites, floods and general neglect, officials said today.
The Marcoses fled the Philippines at the climax of the army-backed ‘people power’ revolt in 1986 and left behind staggering amounts of personal belongings, clothes and art objects at the palace, including at least 1,220 pairs of the former first lady’s shoes.
Ironically, more than 150 boxes of clothes, dress accessories and shoes of the Marcoses were transferred to the National Museum for safekeeping two years ago after termites, humidity and mould threatened the apparel at the riverside palace. There they deteriorated further as the fragile boxes were abandoned in a padlocked museum hall that had no facilities to protect them.
About 765 pairs, including famous brands like Gucci, Charles Jourdan, Christian Dior, Ferragamo, Chanel and Prada, survived the Marikina floods. The shoes still look remarkably new due to meticulous museum care, which includes displaying them in airtight and dust-free glass cabinets in an air-conditioned gallery, away from direct sunlight.
The shoe collection draws a daily crowd of 50 to 100 Philippine and foreign tourists, who almost always leave in awe, museum manager Jane Ballesteros said.
‘The first word they utter is “Wow,” followed by the question, “Was she able to wear all of these?”
“When I say, ‘yes, look at the scratches on the soles’, the next reaction is, ‘Really?’
“It’s amusing. Her shoes never fail to astound people years after.”
Imelda Marcos, however, is now a member of the House of Representatives.
Bet she is still the world record holder for most number of shoe pairs!