The famous shoes, now nearly 80 years old, were gifted anonymously to the National Museum of American History in 1979. According to the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex that preserves more than 3 million significant objects, the ruby slippers need immediate conservation care and a new, state-of-the-art display case.
Thanks to Kickstarter backers, the Smithsonian Institution was able to conserve Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit in 2015, and now the organization is looking for more help to slow the slippers’ deterioration and protect them from environmental harm.
The page has already received $190,978 out of the $300,000 goal, from 3,470 backers, two of whom have each pledged $7,000 or more. Various rewards are on offer, depending on the amount of money pledged. Those who pledge $10,000 or more will be able to view the ruby slippers behind-the-scenes with museum experts, while they are being conserved.
Other rewards include a customized tour of the National Museum of American History, a pair of replica ruby slippers and a poster signed by the designer William Ivey Long.