Entrepreneurs: Selling a Piece Of the Rock

Selling a Piece Of the Rock

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Never underestimate the ingenuity of a businessman out to make a quick buck. Last week two shipments of gray and white rubble, totaling 20 tons, were airlifted from Germany to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. The Missouri entrepreneurs who imported the debris swear that it comes from demolished portions of the Berlin Wall. Just in time for the Christmas shopping season, they will split it into 2-oz. chunks to be sold, along with an "informative booklet and a declaration of authenticity," for $10 to $15 in gift shops and department stores.

They had better get those historic stocking stuffers out fast if they want to corner the market. William Bell, 22, a Munster, Ind., car salesman, and his uncle, Paul Wells, 37, a painting contractor from suburban Washington, have set up an import company to send out what they, too, say are nuggets of the famous barricade. According to Wells, Bell was in Berlin last week "chipping away." And along New York City's fashionable Fifth Avenue, two more entrepreneurs, David Schwartz and Edmond Howar, are undercutting the competition with their own purported pieces of the Wall. Price: $7.