Once held up as a symbol of extravagance and waste in a country where many live in abject poverty, much of former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos‘ capacious shoe collection has now been laid to waste itself by termites, storms, and mold.
First stored at the presidential palace and later at the National Museum in Manila, the collection left behind by Marcos when she and her husband flew the country during the 1986 revolt alone was known to contain north of 1,200 pairs of shoes. Of those, 800 pairs by designers like Chanel, Gucci, and Christian Dior were put on display at a dedicated shoe museum in the city of Marikina in 2001, but dozens were destroyed by flooding eight years later.
Now termites and water damage have ruined much of the remaining collection, which, according to the Associated Press was being unceremoniously stored in the Manila museum’s basement along with more than 150 boxes of clothing and other artifacts belonging to Imelda and the former president. Needless to say, things are a mess at the museum, and curators are scrambling to salvage as many of the relics as possible. Godspeed, you guys! Things are looking pretty nasty: