Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History has launched a crowd-funding campaign to restore the famous ruby slippers used in the Wizard of Oz movie.
The museum is hoping to raise £250,000 for Dorothy’s magic shoes to be restored to their former glory. Worn by Judy Garland in the film, the slippers were made almost 80 years ago by the prop department at MGM.
Unfortunately, natural aging has turned the shoes from sparkling red to a dull brown and the museum has urged people to donate to the campaign so that conservation care can be prepared and a new state-of-the-art display case can be designed to protect them from environmental harm and slow their deterioration.
A museum spokeswoman, Melinda Machado said: “This particular pair of ruby slippers really belongs to the American people, and so we thought as we sought support that we would invite the public to join us on this journey to help preserve them for the next generation,”
“We’re going to have to do a lot of scientific research to come up with a treatment plan that is compatible with all of the different materials.”
The shoes are made of many different materials including, gelatine sequins with a plastic coating, glass beads and red felt, used to muffle the sound of the shoes during dancing scenes.
The slippers are one of the most viewed items at the Washington Museum, and are planned to feature in an upcoming exhibition on American popular culture, scheduled to open in 2018.
As of Tuesday 18th October, the museum had already raised nearly $80,000 (£65,000) on Kickstarter, however, if it does not meet its target in 30 days, none of the pledgers will be charged.
Last year, Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum raised $700,000 (£570,000) to preserve the spacesuit of Neil Armstrong.