Pop princess Kylie Minogue's iconic gold hotpants are being kept in an airtight case to stop them from disintegrating.

The vintage shorts were plucked from a charity store and worn by Minogue in her SPINNING AROUND video, helping her return to the top of the UK charts after a lengthy break. They have since joined a touring exhibition about the star.

But the pants, which cost just $.90 (GBP0.50), are crumbling with age and must be kept in a climate controlled case and handled with gloves.

MARGOT ANDERSON, assistant curator of the Powerhouse museum in Sydney where Kylie: An Exhibition is currently showing, explains,"The pants just can't take any unnecessary strain. The gold coating lifts off every time they are touched."