Ripley's Breaks Silence on Claims Kim Kardashian Damaged Marilyn Monroe's Dress at Met Gala

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Kim Kardashian did not damage Marilyn Monroe's iconic dress, according to Ripley's Believe It or Not! After reports surfaced that the late actress' iconic "Happy Birthday" gown was damaged when Kardashian wore it to the 2022 Met Gala, the museum set out to "debunk" the claim.

In a statement posted to its website, the museum notes that it can say "with confidence" that Kardashian wearing the dress did not "cause damage" to the famed garment. 

"A report written on the dress’s condition in early 2017 states, 'a number of the seams are pulled and worn. This is not surprising given how delicate the material is. There is puckering at the back by the hooks and eyes,' among other instances of damage," the statement reads.

The statement continues by noting that, in the years since the report was written, the museum "has displayed the historical gown at a number of its attractions around the world."

"The company understands the risks associated with this, but Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has been collecting notable pop-culture memorabilia, historical items, and unbelievable artifacts for over 100 years," the statement reads. "Our mission is to both entertain and educate visitors and fans, and sparking conversations like the discourse around Marilyn Monroe’s dress does just that. No matter which side of the debate you are on, the historical importance of the dress has not been negated, but rather highlighted. A entirely new group of young people has now been introduced to the legacy of Marilyn Monroe."

The museum added that, though the decision to let Kardashian don the gown has been "hotly contested," the reality star "did not, in any way, damage the garment in the short amount of time it was worn at the Met Gala."

"From the bottom of the Met steps, where Kim got into the dress, to the top where it was returned, the dress was in the same condition it started in,” says Ripley’s VP of Publishing and Licensing, Amanda Joiner, who was continuously with the dress the day of the Gala and during transport from Orlando to New York.

The museum additionally notes that it will "continue to exhibit the dress -- in as-is condition -- at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Hollywood through Fall 2022."

In an interview with Vogue, Kardashian opened up about wearing the iconic gown, and revealed why she changed into a replica once she made it up the museum's famous stairs.

"I’m extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history. I would never want to sit in it or eat in it or have any risk of any damage to it and I won’t be wearing the kind of body makeup I usually do," she said. "Everything had to be specifically timed and I had to practice walking up the stairs."

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