Smithsonian Launches $300K Kickstarter Campaign for Ruby Slippers, Almost As Bad As That Friend Who Needs Money for Web Series

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

The ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz were made almost 80 years ago, and because time is cruel, they are beginning to fall apart. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the MGM Studios prop department did not think the shoes would need to last this long, and it shows. That’s why, on Monday, the Smithsonian asked the public to help save the slippers, and they even launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $300,000. This campaign would keep the shoes’ color from deteriorating, and the money will go toward a technologically advanced display case to preserve them for future generations. Even though the Smithsonian’s museums are federally funded, the institution still solicits private and corporate contributions for major projects if it isn’t covered by their budget. In fact, this is the Smithsonian’s second Kickstarter campaign; in 2015, the National Air and Space Museum raised $700,000 to preserve the spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore when he walked on the moon. If the Kickstarter campaign succeeds, the slippers will be the second-most-researched item in the museum’s collection, after, you know, that flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.” As of Tuesday night, donors had already pledged nearly $100,000 on Kickstarter. If the museum does not reach its $300,000 goal in 30 days, no one will be charged, so start deciding what matters more to you: the Smithsonian, or that friend who swears his web series is the next Louie.

Smithsonian Has $300K Campaign for Ruby Slippers