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Buy a piece of HOLLYWOOD
The original landmark sign from 1923 is being listed on eBay for $300,000. Get your bids in.
November 17, 2005: 2:49 PM EST
By Jessica Seid CNN/Money staff writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - For as little as $300,000, you could own a piece of Hollywood history.

Claiming to own the original Hollywood sign complete with graffiti by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Ted Nugent and Aerosmith, Dan Bliss is auctioning it off on eBay (Research).

A new version of the Hollywood sign was unveiled in 1978, on Hollywood's 75th anniversary. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce sold the original sign and licensing rights to Hank Berger, a nightclub promoter, for $10,000, according to reports.

In 2003, Bliss said he bought the sign's nine 30-foot-wide letters from Berger for an undisclosed, "six-figure" sum and started a memorabilia company called AuthenticHollywood. Now he is selling both the sign and the Web site, AuthenticHollywood.com, on eBay.

"The first time I saw it, it gave me goose bumps," Bliss said.

Built in 1923, the sign was initially meant to be an enormous calling card for a real estate development company called Hollywoodland, according to the Hollywood Sign Trust, an organization established to oversee, protect and maintain the landmark.

But when depression hit and the company went broke, the sign was left untouched for years. It was bought by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and given its first face-life in 1949 and the last four letters, "L-A-N-D," were dropped.

In the early 1970s the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce determined that the sign needed a complete rebuilding.

To raise money for the sign's reconstruction, Hugh Hefner hosted a star-studded fund raising party at the Playboy mansion where individual letters were "auctioned off," the Hollywood Sign Trust said.

Rocker Alice Cooper sponsored the restoration of an "O" in honor of Groucho Marx and singer Gene Autry sponsored an "L," according to the Hollywood Sign Trust.

Since the new sign went up, the original sign has been kept stored in sections with each letter broken up into smaller mostly rectangular pieces, according to Bliss.

"It's the humpty-dumpty version of the Hollywood sign," Bliss said.

The listing was posted Wednesday evening, as of midday Thursday there were no bidders for the sign.

A spokesman for eBay did not immediately comment on the auction.

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