It’s been nearly 80 years since Dorothy first clicked her iconic ruby red slippers in The Wizard of Oz and wished to be back in Kansas. However, it’s going to take way more than just some wishful thinking to keep the iconic slippers in good shape for future generations who will come to know and love the beloved story. The slippers have found a home at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History for the past 30-years but like most things, they weren’t made to withstand the test of time.
Unfortunately, the shoes are no longer the glorious red that they were in their MGM heyday and as a result, The Smithsonian is asking lovers of film and American history to pitch in and donate $300,000 for their much need restoration. In addition to restoring the shoes, the money will also go toward a state of the art case that will preserve them well into the future. The ruby slippers are now considered among the most treasured and valuable items of film memorabilia. These aren’t the sole set of slippers. A number of pairs were made for the film, though the exact number is unknown. Five pairs are known to have survived since 1939, though one pair was stolen in August 2005 and has never been recovered.
So why is such a fancy museum asking the public for their coins? Well, The Smithsonian is federally funded, so with major projects like this, they are able to solicit donations from both private and public doners.
Museum spokeswoman Melinda Machado said of the slippers, “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.”
— amhistorymuseum (@amhistorymuseum) October 18, 2016
You can donate on Kickstarter if you want, or simply learn more about the project. Donations start at $1, and depending how much they give, contributors can receive rewards including T-shirts and tote bags created by William Ivey Long, a Tony award-winning costume designer.
What do you think about the ruby slippers restoration? Let us know in the comments below.