According to the fundraising site, the slippers -- which were created specifically for the 1939 movie, and worn by star Judy Garland throughout filming -- are beginning to show their age. Here's how the museum describes their current condition:
Now in their eighth decade, the shoes are fragile and actively deteriorating. Even to the naked eye the damage is quite obvious: the color has faded and the slippers appear dull and washed-out. The coating on the sequins that give the shoes their hallmark ruby color is flaking off its gelatin base. Some threads that hold sequins in place have broken.
Because federal funding for the Smithsonian is limited, the museum is turning to the public for the funds necessary to help restore and preserve the slippers for future generations to enjoy. Part of that process will include careful study of the shoes to scientifically determine the best way to display them, then constructing a case that features the optimal environmental conditions for them (controlling elements such as lighting exposure and humidity, among other factors).
Once the preservation is complete, the slippers will go on display at a special Smithsonian exhibit titled On With the Show, scheduled to open sometime in 2018. Supporters of the campaign can received rewards such as t-shirts and tote bags, and larger donations will yield big-ticket items such as replicas of the slippers. No word on whether or not they can transport you back home with a few clicks.
Check out the campaign here.
Photo credit: Getty Images