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Smithsonian Hopes to Save the Ruby Slippers

The ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz are among the most iconic movie costume pieces of all time. But today, nearly 80 years after the film was made, they're looking a little worse for wear—and the Smithsonian is looking to do something about it.

The slippers have been featured at the National Museum of American History since 1979; they were originally created to be a "vivid red … to take advantage of Technicolor," but now, "the shoes are fragile and actively deteriorating … the color has faded and the slippers appear dull and washed-out." To help preserve the shoes, a Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise $300,000 for "preservation work, research, and a new display case." According to the museum's head of conservation, "the case would probably need to contain a gas other than oxygen and have controls for barometric pressure."

If you donate to the campaign, a whole host of Oz-related merchandise could become available to you, ranging from totes and shirts to your very own replica pair of the slippers: that is, if you donate $7,000 or more.

Potential Preaching Angles: Even if you're a huge Wizard of Oz fan, the slippers' decay and the extreme efforts to save them may recall a select passage from the Book of Matthew on "stor[ing] up for yourselves treasures on earth" (6:19).

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