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Last Updated: Monday, 7 November 2005, 13:20 GMT
Hollywood sign getting facelift
Hollywood sign
The sign was erected in 1923
The iconic Hollywood sign is to undergo a facelift, receiving a new paint job for the first time in 10 years.

The sign in the Hollywood hills was unveiled in 1923 and quickly became a tourist attraction.

But its constant exposure to the elements means it needs a touch-up, with two private San Diego companies donating the time and money.

The giant letters will first be stripped back to the metal before they are repainted.

Chris Baumgart of the Hollywood Sign Trust said it was not in "dire shape" and still looked white from a distance.

"But if it was your house, and you could see it up close, then you would see it's time, and after 10 years, it just needed a new coat of paint," he said.

The work is expected to take three and a half weeks.

The sign cost $21,000 to erect and originally spelt out "Hollywoodland" to advertise a housing development.

By 1978 it had fallen into a state of disrepair when Playboy founder Hugh Hefner stepped in to launch a fundraising drive to save it.

Since then all the major overhauls have been undertaken through private funding.

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