"There is no place like the Smithsonian!"
Dorothy's famous ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz" live in the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The shoes still glitter in sparkling Technicolor in the 1939 classic, but the many decades since the movie's filming has left them a little worse for wear. Now the Smithsonian is turning to Kickstarter for help in preserving the iconic footwear.
The shoes, worn by actress Judy Garland, have been on display for three decades and are now a shadow of their former selves. The sequins have darkened and suffer from damaging cracks. The Smithsonian wants to build a custom, climate-controlled display case to prevent further deterioration. The shoes also need a good cleaning and some stabilization work on broken threads and cracked paint.
The intended work won't return the slippers to their bright-red Technicolor appearance, but it will help ensure this piece of cinema history can remain on display for decades to come.
The Smithsonian's previous Kickstarter experience, a fundraiser for preserving astronaut Neil Armstrong's spacesuit, handily topped its funding goal. So far, ruby slippers backers have pledged over $164,000 toward a $300,000 goal with 28 days left to run.
Rewards include tote bags, decals, shirts, printed posters and museum memberships. The $7,000 (£5,700, AU$9,075) level gets you a pair of custom-made replica shoes. Just keep in mind they won't magically transport you to Kansas.
Perhaps the ultimate reward would be visiting the stabilized slippers once they go back on display in a planned new exhibition in 2018. There really is no place like the Smithsonian.