The franchise said despite the controversy over the reality TV star’s wearing of the dress at the exclusive fashion event in New York, the garment was “in the same condition it started in”.
Outrage was sparked online after photos posted online by collector Scott Fortner appeared to show damage to the back of the gown following the gala.
Mr Fortner told the PA news agency that Ripley’s had been “irresponsible” to loan the dress to Kardashian and that its only intention had been “publicity” rather than preserving the historical item.
In a lengthy response posted on its website, Ripley’s said that the row had in fact “highlighted” the dress’s importance.
“Kim Kardashian’s walk up the Metropolitan Museum’s stairs at this year’s Met Gala caused quite the stir, but one thing Ripley’s Believe It or Not! can say with confidence is that it did not cause damage to Marilyn Monroe’s famed ‘Happy Birthday’ dress from 1962.” the franchise wrote.
“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.
“An entirely new group of young people has now been introduced to the legacy of Marilyn Monroe.”
One thing Ripley’s Believe It or Not! can say with confidence is that it did not cause damage to Marilyn Monroe’s famed ‘Happy Birthday’ dress from 1962.
Statement from Ripley's Believe It or Not!
It continued: “Kim Kardashian wearing the ‘Happy Birthday’ dress has been hotly contested, but the fact remains that she did not, in any way, damage the garment in the short amount of time it was worn at the Met Gala.
Ripley’s said its vice president of publishing and licensing, Amanda Joiner, who had overseen the dress’s transport to and from the Met Gala had noted that “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.”
The company added that it had not paid Kardashian to wear the dress, nor had she paid them, but she had made a charitable donation to two charities in the greater Orlando area on behalf of the company.
“Ripley’s Believe It or Not! will continue to exhibit the dress — in as-is condition — at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Hollywood through Fall 2022,” it said.