Sydney Opera House tiles up for 'virtual' sale

December 9, 2013
Royal Australian Navy warship HMAS Sydney leads the ceremonial fleet in front of Sydney Opera House on October 4, 2013

The Sydney Opera House has come up with a novel new way to raise funds and boost the building's profile by selling "virtual" ownership of the tiles on its tallest sail.

On Monday, 125,000 of the tiles went on sale, with Hollywood star Hugh Jackman among the first to put his money behind the initiative which hopes to raise Aus$15 million (US$13.7 million).

Under the scheme, people can buy a tile online for between Aus$100-400 in a hi-tech campaign called Own Our House to help fund renewal of the building and ensure more free events for the public.

They will not physically own a tile, but using laser mapping techology can personalise their virtual tile with a photo and message, form virtual tile communities, share it through and search for other "Housemates" to see what they have done.

"The Opera House is a World Heritage masterpiece that belongs to all of us," said Jackman, who lives in Sydney.

"Own Our House is a great way for people to show their pride and affection for one of the world's greatest icons."

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