Kick­starter cam­paign aims to save Dorothy’s fad­ing ruby slip­pers

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Wish­ful think­ing and three heelclicks whisked Dorothy back home in “The Wizard of Oz,” but it will take hard cash to re­store her ruby red slip­pers. The sparkling shoes daz­zled au­di­ences of the 1939 film clas­sic as Dorothy, played by Judy Gar­land, danced down the yel­low brick road. Now the US

Smith­so­nian’s Mu­seum of Amer­i­can His­tory in Washington-where they are on pub­lic dis­play-has launched a crowd­fund­ing Kick­starter cam­paign to raise $300,000 for restor­ing their piz­zazz.

The shoes, made nearly 80 years ago, are in dire need of re­pair as well as a new dis­play case to pro­tect them from en­vi­ron­men­tal harm, the mu­seum said. The Smith­so­nian In­sti­tu­tion-which over­sees mu­se­ums and re­search cen­ters in and near Washington-re­ceives fed­eral fund­ing to sup­port its core op­er­a­tions, but that money will not cover re­pair­ing the shoes, it added. The in­sti­tu­tion of­ten so­lic­its cor­po­rate and pri­vate do­na­tions to pay for projects be­yond its bud­get. Con­ser­va­tors say the shoes’ se­quins are flak­ing, leav­ing them more of a washed-out auburn than the glit­tery ruby color for which they’re known.

The Smith­so­nian had raised just over $85,000 as of Tues­day af­ter­noon, with slightly un­der a month left in the fundrais­ing cam­paign. MGM Stu­dios’ prop de­part­ment cre­ated the low-heeled shoes by dy­ing com­mer­cially man­u­fac­tured lowheeled slip­pers red and at­tach­ing red se­quined net­ting. The slip­pers be­came one of the film’s most iconic props, on near-con­stant dis­play at the mu­seum since they were anony­mously do­nated in 1979. Mil­lions of vis­i­tors view them each year, and they are slated to be part of a new 2018 ex­hi­bi­tion on Amer­i­can in­no­va­tion in mu­sic, sports and en­ter­tain­ment. The Kick­starter cam­paign is the Smith­so­nian’s sec­ond, af­ter it raised $719,779 last year through crowd­fund­ing to con­serve Neil Arm­strong’s space­suit. The mu­seum is­sued its ap­peal with the words of the Wicked Witch of the West: “These things must be done del­i­cately-or you hurt the spell.” — AFP

‘The Wizard of Oz’ ruby red slip­pers be­came one of the film’s most iconic props, on near-con­stant dis­play at the mu­seum since they were anony­mously do­nated in 1979. — AFP

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