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Arts and Entertainment

Hollywood Big Bucks Help Get Ruby Slippers For Future Oscars Museum

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There's No Place Like Home: One of four authentic pairs of ruby slippers used in the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" will soon be a permanent fixture at the planned Oscars museum.

Thanks to the financial help of some Hollywood players with deep pockets like Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio, the iconic shoes will eventually end up not in Kansas, but here in L.A. at the planned Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, explains City News Service.

The pair of ruby slippers purchased by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are said to be in the best condition of all four of the pairs used in the classic film. The ruby slippers acquired by the Academy are actually known as the "Witch's Shoes,'' because they are thought to be the ones seen on the feet of the Wicked Witch of the East after Dorothy's house falls on her. They also happen to be the pair thought to have been worn by star Judy Garland during close-ups, including when she famously clicked her heels three times and recited "there's no place like home."

And that home for the ruby slippers will be in the old May Co. building currently being used as LACMA West. A proper "movie museum" for Los Angeles has been in the works since the 1960s, but securing a long-term lease on the space last fall was the first concrete steps towards making such a much-needed venue a reality.

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Spielberg, DiCaprio, and LACMA Co-Chair Terry Semel were part of a team of "angel donors" who pooled their money--an estimated $2-3 million based on auction house values, though the Academy wouldn't reveal their purchase price--to obtain the slippers for the museum. Another pair has been on display at the Smithsonian, but are actually being removed from display this week to get tidied up to go into another exhibit opening in early April.

"The ruby slippers occupy an extraordinary place in the hearts of movie audiences the world over,'' said Bob Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Co. and chairman of the capital campaign for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. "This is a transformative acquisition for our collection.''