WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The ruby slippers that whisked Dorothy back to Kansas in three clicks are looking a little down at the heels, prompting the Smithsonian to launch a $300,000 online campaign to conserve them.
Museum officials started a Kickstarter fundraising drive Monday to repair the iconic slippers from 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz” and create a new state-of-the-art display case for them at the National Museum of American History.
The sequined shoes were crafted around 77 years ago by the MGM Studios prop department and have grown fragile over time. The fundraising page says the color has faded and some threads affixing sequins have snapped.
The campaign, dubbed #KeepThemRuby, offers donor rewards ranging from T-shirts and tote bags to replica slippers and behind-the-scenes tours.
According to the campaign website, the money donated will also be used to do research to provide optimal conditions for the preservation of the shoes, which will then be applied along with the new case.
As of Tuesday morning, the campaign had raised more than $42,000 from 951 backers.
The shoes are slated to take part in the museum’s upcoming “On With the Show”exhibition, focusing on pop culture contributions in music, art and culture through United States History. The exhibit is slated to open some time in 2018.
This isn’t the Smithsonian’s first Kickstarter drive. In 2015, it raised $700,000 to conserve Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit.
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