World

A new high for Hollywood

LOS ANGELES: The famed Hollywood sign high in the hills over Los Angeles got a little higher on Sunday, when someone altered two of the letters to make it read "Hollyweed".

Police said unidentified thrill-seekers had arranged tarps over the Os to make them look like Es, CBS affiliate KCAL reported.

Each letter is 13.7m high, so the feat would have required considerable athleticism.

The act may have been taken in celebration of a measure approved in November, when California voters passed an amendment legalising recreational use of marijuana.

A police spokesman said cameras might help them identify the culprits. The act was being treated as a case of trespassing.

It was not the first such incident since the sign was erected in 1923 - at the time as Hollywoodland .

The same change was made 41 years ago, when a California law relaxing penalties for marijuana use took effect. That was the work of college art student Danny Finegood.

With friends, he returned to the sign on Easter Day 1976 to make it read "Holywood" and in 1990 to make it read "Oil War" in protest of the Persian Gulf conflict.

While he might have inspired the latest act, Mr Finegood cannot be blamed for it. He died in 2007, aged 52.

Largely because of him, Los Angeles officials increased security around the sign.

It is not clear how someone made it through those barriers but Mr Finegood might have admired their work. - AFP

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