Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 15:10 UK

Imelda's shoes survive Philippine floods

Museum official Sylvia de la Cruz, 73, cleans some of the shoes
Museum staff are now cleaning some of the affected shoes

The famous shoe collection of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos has survived the recent floods in Manila.

Staff at the Marikina Shoe Museum moved hundreds of pairs just before water swamped the building's ground floor.

Marikina was one of the areas worst hit by Typhoon Ketsana, which killed more than 300 people in the Philippines.

The huge shoe collection is often seen as a symbol of the lavish tastes of Imelda and her husband, former President Ferdinand Marcos.

About 1,220 pairs of shoes were discovered in Imelda's rooms at the Malacanang presidential palace, after the couple fled to the US after "people power" protests in 1986.

Ferdinand Marcos died in 1989, and Imelda now lives back in the Philippines.

Shoe industry

The Marikina Shoe Museum showcases Imelda Marcos' collection as well as other footwear worn by former Philippine leaders.

Philippine former first lady Imelda Marcos points to some of her shoes on display at the museum, 2001 picture
Imelda Marcos had more than 1,200 pairs of shoes

When Typhoon Ketsana was about to hit, employees grabbed as many as they could and put them upstairs or on the top shelves of display cabinets.

"We managed to haul about 750 pairs upstairs," 73-year-old curator Sylvia de la Cruz told the French news agency AFP.

Only about 100 shoes are thought to have got wet.

Marikina, to the east of Manila, is the centre of the Philippines' shoe industry.

Thousands of Marikina residents remain homeless after Typhoon Ketsana and the resulting floods, and tons of mud and debris are still littering the streets.

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