Signatures of 200,000 WA students etched into paving around the Bell Tower are being dug up as part of the Elizabeth Quay project.
They cannot be preserved because, according to Planning Minister John Day, the tiles the signatures are etched on are too weak.
The signatures were gathered from students throughout WA in 1999. They could have included signatures of Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo, footballer Lance Franklin, international model Gemma Ward and The X Factor finalist Johnny Ruffo.
A photographic archive of the tiles had been created that would be used for "future interpretation" within the Elizabeth Quay development, a spokeswoman said.