Smithsonian Museum Launches $300K Fundraiser for Dorothy’s Slippers

The Smithsonian Museum has launched a $300,000 Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the proper restoration of Dorothy’s ruby slippers, according to The Washington Post.

The pair of shoes in possession by the museum, one of at least 5 or 6 pairs used in the movie, are faded and visibly damaged:

“Even to the naked eye the damage is quite obvious: the color has faded and the slippers appear dull and washed-out,” the museum explains in their Kickstarter. “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.”

But not all of that money will go towards actual repairs. The funds will also aid research in how best to display the shoes for longevity’s sake – i.e. temperature, lighting, and upkeep. The slippers will be a part of Smithsonian’s 2018 exhibition “On With the Show.”

But why so much money?

“Federal appropriations provide the foundation of the Smithsonian’s operating budget and support core functions, such as building operations and maintenance, and safeguarding the collections,” the Kickstarter continues. “Projects like the Ruby Slippers aren’t covered by our federal appropriations.”

Smaller scale donations earn you tote bags and other merchandise from costumer designer William Ivey Long, while offerings over $1K can get you a lunch and private tour with museum curators.

Morning Links: Sacha Baron Cohen Still Welcome At Oscars, Jessica Simpson Preps For Baby Girl

● The Academy has spoken, sort of: Sacha Baron Cohen will not be banned from Sunday night’s ceremony, but his Dictator character will not be welcomed. "We don’t think it’s appropriate," said their spokesperson, who reassures that his tickets "haven’t been pulled." Not yet, at least. [THR]

● Could Britney Spears be cast to The X Factor‘s judges panel? We could certainly be counted on to watch at least one episode, if so. [People]

● Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Spielberg, and a few of their friends generously scrounged up enough change to help the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures buy the iconic ruby slippers from 1939’s Wizard of Oz. [Us]

● A very pregnant Jessica Simpson was seen buying up all the pink baby clothes at a baby boutique in L.A. — there must be little girl on the way! [People]

● According to The-Dream, it was Rihanna’s idea to offer Chris Brown a verse on the remix of "Birthday Cake," a song he originally wrote. "When she raised the question to me, I know she’s not crazy," he explained to MTV. "It’s easy to kinda throw Chris under the bus all the time, but c’mon, man. OK, we get it" [RapFix]

● Elton John’s husband, David Furnish, confirms that Sir Elton has spoken with Justin Timberlake about starring in his bioepic. [E!]

Morning Links: Justin Bieber Off The Hook, Oprah and BFF Gayle King Split

● Baby mama Mariah Yeater has wisely dropped her paternity suit against Justin Bieber, who has said he would be happy to take a paternity test, and to then sue Yeater for defomation, just for goood measure.  [TMZ]

● A New York family is suing their neighbor Miss Patti Labelle, alleging that she assulted their 18-month-old daughter, yelling terrible thinks like "I hope you have a terrible life," and throwing water at the little girl, who she said wandered underfoot the diva in their building’s lobby.  [CBS NY]

● Kristen Stewart has been offered a lead role in Akira, Warner Bros. forthcoming adaptaion of the classic anime adventure. Vampire? Check. Fairy tale princess? Check. Anime hero? Only natural! [THR]

● Oprah’s BFF Gayle King is out at OWN network, as she has signed on to host CBS’s Early Show alongside Charlie Rose. Viewership at OWN continues to flag, and King is not the first to jump ship. With her move it will surely be asked: what’s the trouble with Oprah’s paradise? [The Wrap]

● Karl Slover, one of the last of the 124 original The Wizard of Oz Munchkins, has passed at the age of 93. Ha ha ha, ho ho ho, and to the Merry old land of Oz he goes. [AP]

● Support for actual wars waning, the NYT wonders if video games like Call of Duty and Battlefield 3 and their "promise of plausible heroism" would be so popular if players faced a real life military draft. [NYT]