These shoes aren't in Kansas anymore...and right now they're at risk of not being anywhere.
The iconic ruby slippers from the classic movie, Wizard Of Oz, are currently at the Smithsonian. In 1979, someone anonymously dropped off the shoes as a donation. However, the shoes themselves are 80 years old and looking a little...well, they're looking rough. Rougher than Scarecrow being burned by the Wicked Witch of the West.
The shoes are in some desperate need of some TLC. The color has dulled, the sequins are flaking off, the soles are battered, and the seams are beginning to fray. The Smithsonian is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise $300,000 for conservation efforts for the beloved slippers. The money would be used to construct a high-tech display case, stimulating the optimal light, humidity, and temperature conditions. The hope is that this case would prevent any further deterioration.
"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," said museum spokeswoman Melinda Machado.
But why the public? Does the museum not have funding for these sorts of things?
The Smithsonian is a federally funded institution, but the government only covers about 70% of every dollar needed to maintain their network of museums and research centers. Everything after that is dependent on on private and corporate contributions, and recently they turned to crowd-funding. Their first crowd-sourcing campaign was to raise money for Neil Armtrong's moonwalk space suit. The campaign raised over $700,000 to conserve the amazing piece of history.
If you would like to donate to help conserve Judy Garland's fantastic shoes, here's the link!