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Jewelled shoes stolen in Canada

A pair of shoes worn by an 18th century Indian prince were stolen from the Bata Shoe Museum.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 15:24 IST

A rare pair of shoes worn by an 18th century Indian prince were stolen from the Bata Shoe Museum located in this Canadian city.

Fully embroidered with gold thread and the instep ornament embellished with rubies, diamonds and emeralds set in gold, the shoes were worn by Albar Ali Khan Sikander Jah (1768 -1829) from the princely state of Hyderabad.

Investigators working on the case are seeking the public's assistance in the theft.

The shoes were displayed as part of the newly renovated "All About Shoes" section, museum curator Elizabeth Semmelhack told IANS. The shoes were stolen between noon and 5:00 p.m. on Jan 22, she said.

In addition to the stolen shoes, staff discovered later that two other items also dating back to the 18th century were missing, according to Toronto police.

A gold toe ring, set with diamonds and rubies and valued at $11,000, and a gold anklet, set with diamonds, rubies and emeralds and valued at $45,000, were also reported missing by the museum authorities.

The museum's collection includes 12,000 artefacts from earlier civilisations, some dating back 4,500 years, to the catwalks of today's leading designers, the museum's website boasts. It also claims to be the world's largest collection of shoes and footwear-related objects.

The privately funded collection includes French chestnut crushing boots, Chinese silk shoes for binding women's feet, pre-Columbian sacrificial boots, bear fur shoes used by Japanese samurai and human hair slippers used by Australian Aboriginal executioners.

The Bata Museum includes an archaeological collection, which exhibits ancient Egyptian sarcophagi with painted sandal designs, leg-shaped perfume vials made by an ancient Greek potter and Roman bronze lamps representing sandal-clad feet.

It also includes a celebrity collection that displays Queen Victoria's ballroom slippers, Robert Redford's cowboy boots, Elton John's monogrammed silver platform boots, Terry Fox's running shoe, Elvis Presley's blue patent loafers, Karen Kain's ballet pointes and John Lennon's Beatle boot.

First Published: Jan 24, 2006 11:43 IST