The National Air and Space Museum became a temporary red carpet Wednesday, when actor-producer Bruce Willis donated objects from the "Die Hard" action movie series to the Smithsonian's "Treasures of American History" collection.
The fourth installment of Willis' "Die Hard" series, "Live Free or Die Hard," opens this week.
The "Die Hard" memorabila, including a dirty T-shirt Willis wore in the first film, joins the legendary ruby slippers Judy Garland wore in "The Wizard of Oz" and iconic droids C3PO and R2D2 from the "Star Wars" saga, as well as over 150 objects from other films.
"We look for objects that represent leading figures of theater, film and television, from Broadway stages to the backstages and in front of and behind the camera and including: costumes, set models, scripts and posters," said Brent Glass, director of the National Museum of American History.
Among the "Die Hard" objects donated were: a promotional poster, the combat-ridden athletic shirt worn by Willis' character, John McLane, as well as the character's New York Police Department badge, and a copy of the new "Die Hard" movie, "Live Free or Die Hard." They will eventually move from the National Air and Space Museum to the National Museum of American History, currently under renovation.
"Being an entertainer is a very interesting job. Sometimes you get to be called a hero, but in the nation's capital, the real heroes are the people that serve … those in the armed forces, law enforcement, the military and the EMTs to keep us safe," said Willis.
"The 'Die Hard' series is founded on a 1979 novel 'Nothing Last's Forever,' but I can assure you that these objects will indeed have a long life in our collections at the Smithsonian," said Bowers.