Less than a week after launching its latest Kickstarter to conserve the iconic Wizard of Oz Ruby Slippers, the Smithsonian Institute has already captured nearly $250,000 from more than 4,500 backers. The museum is currently seeking $300,000 for the project.
As previously reported, the Smithsonian is looking keep the Ruby Slippers intact. The shoes were made nearly 80 years ago for the film and were only supposed to last through the production’s filming portion. Just 40 years after their creation, the slippers were donated to the National Museum of American History, and since then millions of visitors have had the privilege of seeing them. The organization revealed:
“Movie costumes and props are made quickly and cheaply, to last only for the brief duration of the shoot, not forever. Now in their eighth decade, the shoes are fragile and actively deteriorating. Even to the naked eye the damage is quite obvious: the color has faded and the slippers appear dull and washed-out. The coating on the sequins that give the shoes their hallmark ruby color is flaking off its gelatin base. Some threads that hold sequins in place have broken.”
Although the Smithsonian is government funded, the organization noted that its federal appropriations do not cover the cost to converse the Ruby Slippers. With that said, the Smithsonian noted it would need to undertake all costs to conduct the process and needs help from the crowd. It was noted that the shoes would need calibrate light exposure, controlled humidity and temperature, and a few other processes that the organization is currently in the midst of determining. They will be placed in a new exhibition at the National Museum of American History called On With the Show in 2018.
This is not the first time that the Smithsonian has raised funds through the crowdfunding platform. The organization secured a total of $719,779 for Neil Armstrong’s Spacesuit display last year. The “Conserve Ruby Slippers” initiative is set to close on November 16th.
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