'Wizard of Oz' fans trying to raise $300G to save Dorothy's deteriorating ruby red slippers

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If only saving Dorothy's ruby red slippers were as easy as following a yellow brick road.

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History in D.C. is actively appealing to fans of "The Wizard of Oz" to donate to the preservation of Dorothy's famous shoes.

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"So many people have that shared experience of having watched 'The Wizard of Oz' as children, or with friends and family, especially around the holidays, so it's a beloved film," entertainment curator Ryan Lintelman of The Smithsonian National Museum of American History, told the Associated Press.

Watch: Learn more about the #KeepThemRuby campaign:

"The ruby slippers really represent all of that magic and glamour of Hollywood, but also some key American characteristics."

To fund their efforts, the Smithsonian has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $300,000 to conserve the shoes that were donated as an anonymous gift in 1979.

The iconic sequined slippers, created nearly 80 years ago for the beloved 1939 Technicolor film, are "fragile" and "actively deteriorating," according to the Kickstarter campaign.

"They were made as movie props," the National Museum of American History's manager of preservation services, Richard Barden, told the AP. "We're taking something that was made not to last and trying to save it and preserve it forever."

According to the Smithsonian's Kickstarter page, many of the slippers' sequins are no longer red due to exposure to light and moisture, and threads have torn and ripped over the years. The museum also plans to conserve the glass beads and red felt on the soles, used to muffle the sound when star Judy Garland danced in the film.

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Wizard of Oz iconic movie moments
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Wizard of Oz iconic movie moments
From left to right, Clara Blandick, Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton and Charley Grapewin star in the MGM film 'The Wizard of Oz', 1939. In this scene, Almira Gulch arrives to take Dorothy's dog Toto away for termination, after he bit her. (Photo by MGM Studios/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West on top of a roof with her broom in a scene from the film 'The Wizard Of Oz', 1939. (Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)
Judy Garland watch three munchkins dancing in a scene from the film 'The Wizard Of Oz', 1939. (Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)
American actors Judy Garland (right) (1922 - 1969) and Billie Burke (1885 - 1970) link hands, surrounded by Munchkins in a still from the film 'The Wizard of Oz,' directed by Victor Fleming, 1939. (Photo by MGM Studios/Courtesy of Getty Images)
Judy Garland as Dorothy and Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow in the MGM film 'The Wizard of Oz', 1939. (Photo by MGM Studios/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
A scene from the Wizard of Oz with Dorothy, the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow as played by actors Judy Garland, Jack Haley and Ray Bolger, Hollywood, California, c. 1939. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
Judy Garland begins her journey in the Wizard of Oz, Hollywood, California, 1939. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
From left to right, Jack Haley as the Tin Man, Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Judy Garland as Dorothy and Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion in the MGM film 'The Wizard of Oz', 1939. (Photo by Authenticated News/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Judy Garland and Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow dance on the Yellow Brick Road as Toto watches in a scene from the film 'The Wizard Of Oz', 1939. (Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)
American actor Ray Bolger (1904 - 1987) as The Scarecrow in the MGM film 'The Wizard of Oz', 1939. (Photo by MGM Studios/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
American actor Jack Haley (1898 - 1979) as Hickory/The Tin Man in 'The Wizard of Oz', 1939. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
American actor Margaret Hamilton (1902 - 1985) and a winged monkey look into a crystal ball in a still from the film, 'The Wizard of Oz,' directed by Victor Fleming, 1939. (Photo by MGM Studios/Courtesy of Getty Images)
American actress Margaret Hamilton (1902 - 1985) stars as the Wicked Witch of the West in the MGM film 'The Wizard of Oz', 1939. Here she commands her flock of flying monkeys. (Photo by MGM Studios/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Judy Garland as Dorothy and Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow in the MGM film 'The Wizard of Oz', 1939. In this scene, the Scarecrow prepares to rescue Dorothy when she is attacked by a sentient apple tree. (Photo by MGM Studios/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
From left to right, Jack Haley as the Tin Man, Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion and Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow in the MGM film 'The Wizard of Oz', 1939. In this scene, they disguise themselves as Winkies in order to gain access to the witch's castle and rescue Dorothy. (Photo by MGM Studios/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Jack Haley (1898 - 1979) as the Tin Man, Bert Lahr (1895 - 1967) as the Cowardly Lion, Judy Garland (1922 - 1969) as Dorothy, Ray Bolger (1904 - 1987) as the Scarecrow and Frank Morgan (1890 - 1949) as the Doorman to the Emerald City in 'The Wizard of Oz', 1939. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
From left to right, Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, Judy Garland as Dorothy, Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow and Jack Haley as the Tin Man in the MGM film 'The Wizard of Oz', 1939. Here they are about to be beautified in the Emerald City. (Photo by MGM Studios/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Margaret Hamilton (1902 - 1985) as the Wicked Witch and Judy Garland (1922 - 1969) as Dorothy Gale in 'The Wizard of Oz', 1939. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Close up of the ruby slippers on Judy Garland's feet with the tip of Glinda's wand in a scene from the film 'The Wizard Of Oz', 1939. (Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)
1939: American actor and singer Judy Garland (1922 - 1969) sits up in bed while (left to right; top to bottom) Frank Morgan (1890 - 1949), Charles Grapewin (1869 - 1956), Ray Bolger (1904 - 1987), Jack Haley (1898 - 1979), Bert Lahr (1895 - 1967) and Clara Blandick (1881 - 1962) surround her in a still from the film, 'The Wizard of Oz,' directed by Victor Fleming. (Photo by MGM Studios/MGM Studios/Getty Images)
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To add to the uniqueness of the props, one shoe is wider than the other and Garland's name is written on the inside of each of the slippers.

But, Barden explained the efforts are specifically to conserve the shoes, not to restore.

Read: FAO Schwarz Fans Do One Final Dance on the Iconic Piano Floor Before Doors Close

"When you restore something you are bringing it back to a previous state, you are adding something to the artifact," Barden said, according to the Associated Press. "For the ruby slippers we aren't going to do that, what we want to do is stabilize them, try to slow or stop any deterioration, and preserve them and that's what the conservation is."

Barden said the private donations will go toward researching ideal conditions for the various materials on the shoes, and building a new viewing case that has controls on temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. The case will also likely contain a gas that is not oxygen, to slow the deterioration process.

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