Keep Them Ruby: Smithsonian starts Kickstarter campaign for ruby slipper conservation


An icon from the golden age of Hollywood is in desperate need of help.

That's why officials at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History have started a Kickstarter campaign to help conserve the famous ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz."

The shoes, which were worn by Judy Garland, were donated to the museum in 1979 by an anonymous donor.

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The slippers were intended to last only through the end of filming in 1939, but have lasted more than 80 years.

Museum experts say the pair of sparkly shoes, which are covered with red sequins, "need immediate conservation care and a new, state-of-the-art display case."

The movie's costume designer took a pair of normal shoes, dyed them red and then attached a red netting that was covered with sequins. The sequins are losing their color and some threads that hold the sequins in place have broken.

The Smithsonian hopes to raise $300,000 by the end of the campaign. Last year, the museum launched a Kickstarter to conserve Neil Armstrong's spacesuit. It successfully raised more than $719,000.

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