‘H’ from original Hollywood sign on display at Scottish industrial site

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The “H” from the original Hollywood sign has been seen in public for the first time in 40 years - in a Scottish industrial site.

The 50ft tall letter has been restored by world-renowned artist and sculptor Bill Mack, who acquired the sign in 2007, in preparation for a world tour.

Bill Mack with the restored 'H'

Bill Mack with the restored 'H'

Originally erected in 1923, the sign soon became synonymous with the glamour and excitement of the film industry in Los Angeles.

The “H” is said to have symbolised everything Hollywood and to touch the sign was a rite of passage for all aspiring actors and actresses.

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It stood for 55 years until 1978 when a fundraising campaign was launched by the likes of Alice Cooper and Hugh Hefner to replace the sign, which had fallen into disrepair.

In 2012, Bill Mack decided to restore the sign and get it ready to travel the world, giving the public a first glimpse of the famous letter.

Keith Douglas, a close friend of Mr Mack, runs James Fisher in Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, where yesterday engineers carried out final checks before the sign embarks on its tour.

Mr Douglas, who also acts as a promoter for the sign’s world tour, described seeing it for the first time as a “bit of a moment”.

He said: “Since 1978 it has never been seen outside, by anybody, and yet here it is in a yard in Oldmeldrum.

“It’s just an awesome sight and an amazing event to have it here.”

It has taken more than 5,000 hours to restore the “H”, which is the height of four double-decker buses and weighs 56,000 pounds.

The sign is designed to be able to be taken apart and will travel by land on a 53-feet flatbed truck and by sea in two shipping containers.

An appearance at the O2 Arena in London will kick off a five-year tour that will see it visit 60 cities around the world.

It will allow people a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engage with the iconic sign.

Following the tour, the “H” will return home to Los Angeles where it will become a permanent installation in time for its 100th anniversary.

For more information about the tour, visit www.heartofhollywoodtour.com.