Smithsonian launches Kickstarter campaign to preserve Dorothy's ruby slippers

The Smithsonian is looking for a legion of good-deed-doers to help save Dorothy Gale’s ruby slippers.

Though the shoes found their forever home in 1979, when an anonymous donation brought them to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, time has not been kind to the nearly 80-year-old costume piece from “The Wizard of Oz.” 

Created by the MGM studios prop department, the slippers were never intended to last. Since 1939, their bright ruby hue has faded, some threads attaching sequins have broken and some sequins are losing color altogether.

On Monday, the Smithsonian launched a Kickstarter campaign for $300,000 in an attempt to raise funds to preserve the slippers from further deterioration. 

It’s the second such campaign launched by the Smithsonian. In 2015, it exceeded its $500,000 fundraising goal to “Reboot the Suit” and conserve and display Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 space suit at the National Air and Space Museum.

The crowdfunding on the project was so popular that the museum was additionally able to conserve the space suit of Alan Shepard from the first American manned space flight in 1961.

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