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Next month the city of Chicago will go up for sale on eBay.

Okay, the whole city won't be up for grabs, but parts of Chicago's past and present will be auctioned off during a first of its kind event. City officials have teamed with eBay to sell items such as an original Playboy Bunny costume (The Register's Chicago office is conveniently positioned with a direct view of the Playboy headquarters), Chicago manhole covers and decommissioned parking meters. All of the money raised via the auction will go to the Chicago Culture Center, Cultural Grants and the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts.

For what it's worth, city officials say this is the first charitable eBay auction organized by a municipality. Numerous cities sell surplus goods or unclaimed property on eBay, and, in the past, an entire town was put up for auction. Chicago, however, has just charity in mind.

The Chicago eBay auction reflects the city's long-standing desire to be a center of artistic innovation in the US. The auction has been dubbed the Great Chicago Fire Sale in reference to the 1871 fire that destroyed much of the city. After this catastrophe, city officials pushed to have Chicago resurrected as one of the finest examples of modern architecture, and it has lived up to these goals.

Now, people participating in the auction will have a chance to extend Chicago's artistic traditions by supporting free fine arts programs and training, project grants and youth cultural development.

The auction will run from Dec. 2 to Dec. 16. A list of the items up for sale can be found here. ®

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