‘Click 3 times’: Smithsonian turns to Kickstarter to make Dorothy’s slippers ruby again

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Now it’s your turn to “click,” as Dorothy’s ruby slippers need some help to get their magic back. The Smithsonian Institution is seeking $300,000 to refurbish the iconic pair of shoes Judy Garland donned for the 1939 classic “Wizard of Oz.”

“They need immediate conservation care and a new, state-of-the-art display case, in order to slow their deterioration and protect them from environmental harm,” the Smithsonian wrote in its call on Kickstarter. “Now in their eighth decade, the shoes are fragile and actively deteriorating.”

Just three days into #KeepThemRuby campaign, Dorothy’s slippers raised over $220,000, most of what is needed to make them look like new again. With 27 days to go, just a small effort remains to push it over the top.

Once the goal is reached, the Smithsonian would literally look at the ruby slippers through a microscope to learn more about conditions they require.

“Studying the effects of various light wavelengths, their response to changes in humidity and temperature, they will [scientists] determine the best conditions for their preservation,” the Smithsonian explained.

The shoes will be then refurbished and cleaned. They need some touch-ups to fix the red netting and sequins, treat loose threads and bring their hallmark ruby color back.

“While the slippers undergo treatment, their appearance will not change drastically, and we don’t want them to,” the institution wrote.

Once the ruby slippers are shining again, they will go back in the spotlight at a new multimedia exhibition “On With the Show” in 2018.

The Smithsonian owns one of the existing pairs of ruby slippers, a treasured item at the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. Another pair is in private hands, while the third was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota in 2005.

At the current pace, it appears that the ruby slippers have quite a legion of fans. A similar campaign already helped Smithsonian once, when the institution was looking for help to make the conservation of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit possible. It took them a mere five days to collect their $500,000 target.