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Jackson Family

Between Rock & Hard Place

Over MJ Handprints

12/3/2011 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1202_michael_jackson_hand_print_launch_EXMichael Jackson's family is on the hunt for an incredibly valuable piece of rock -- containing the King of Pop's hand and footprints -- but the guy who currently owns it ain't giving it up without a fight.

MJ left the impressions back in 1984 for a Vegas hotel -- which had commissioned the piece for a "Walk of Fame"-type exhibit in front of the property.

The exhibit never materialized, and the concrete slab ended up gathering dust in the hotel basement -- until it was auctioned off years later ... and a guy named Andy Wilson picked it up for a pretty penny.

Now, the Jackson family has caught wind of the relic -- and they want to reclaim it, insisting the slab is the rightful property of the MJ estate. We're told they're even willing to pay Mr. Wilson $25,000 plus a cut of any merchandising profits they make off the item.

But Andy ain't budging -- telling TMZ, $25,000 just won't do ... and he's willing to wait as long as it takes to get a better deal.

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