Wizard of Oz ruby slippers saved thanks to Kickstarter campaign

Dorothy's ruby red slippers saved thanks to kickstarter campaign

The iconic ruby red slippers from the 1939 film 'The Wizard of Oz' have been saved thanks to an ambitious Kickstarter campaign.

The shoes, which are worn by the film's main character Dorothy, are currently being held at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington.

But sadly, the shoes Judy Garland wore are no longer in the glittering condition they once were and on 17 October the museum set about asking the public for help.

Dawn Wallace, a Conservator at the Smithsonian, said: "The materials are incredible sensitive. If we're not able to limit a lot of the deterioration issues that are going on currently, it could really shorten their lifespan."

The museum has had the slippers in its possession since they were given to them anonymously in 1979, and they quickly became one of the Smithsonian's most popular exhibits.

The Kickstarter page, entitled 'Save Dorothy's Ruby Slippers', outlined that the shoes were only designed to last until the end of filming and are now 'showing their age'.

It reads: "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."

Now the campaign has raised a staggering $308,016 (£251,810) thanks to 5,510 individual backers, ensuring these pieces of film history will not be allowed to deteriorate any further.

The money will be used to keep the slippers 'under optimal conditions' with calibrated light exposure and strict controls on humidity and temperature.

Richard Barden, Preservation Services Manager at the museum, said: "We believe light has had a strong effect on the ruby slippers. They're really discoloured. They've darkened, they've become opaque and there's cracking."

Once restored the slippers will be kept in a new exhibition opening in 2018 that is likely to be called 'On With The Show'.

According to the Kickstarter site the exhibition 'will highlight American ingenuity and diversity in music, sports and entertainment'.

That's not all, since reaching their target the museum have announced a 'stretch goal' which involves one of the film's other iconic characters.

They are looking for $85,000 to conserve and display the Scarecrow's costume, if the goal is reached the team will be able to fully conserve and preserve the costume.

Find out more on the official Kickstarter page: kickstarter.com/projects/smithsonian/conserve-dorothys-ruby-slippers.

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10 incredible auctions
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10 incredible auctions

The most expensive watch ever sold at auction fetched just under $24 million in November 2014. The gold pocket watch was made by Patek Philippe, and is the most complex ever made without the use of computer technology.

The Henry Graves Supercomplication was commissioned in 1925, and took eight years to make.

The world's most expensive stamp sold at auction in 2014 for over $9 million.

The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta is as rare as a stamp can get. British Guiana was one of the first countries in the New World to start issuing stamps, but in 1856, they ran out, and asked the local newspaper printer to produce extras.

There were two denominations: the four-cent, which is very rare, and the one-cent - of which only one has ever been discovered.

In May 2015, an anonymous London businesswoman snapped up the licence plate KR15 HNA for £233,000, making it the most expensive standard number plate ever to be sold in the UK.

Queen Victoria's bloomers sold at auction for £6,200, along with a pair of her silk stockings.

They have a 52-inch waist, and belonged to the monarch in the 1890s - "towards the end of her life when she had eaten a lot more than most people could afford to," said auctioneer Michael Hogben. In today's sizing, they'd be a size 26.

In 2014, a three-year-old slice of cake sold at auction for $7,500 (£4,800). The reason the stale cake was in such demand was that it was from the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011.

The buyer said he intended to give it away as part of promoting his Silicon Valley start-up.

A British coin sold at auction for a record-breaking £430,000 in 2014. After fees, the buyer paid £516,000 - making it the most expensive modern British coin ever to be sold.

The coin is only one of two in existence. It was a 'proof' for a gold sovereign which was meant to be produced to commemorate the coronation of Edward VIII in 1937. However, Edward abdicated in 1936, so the coronation never happened and the coins were never made

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