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Kung Fu fighting – TheMoveChannel.com

(EMAILWIRE.COM, January 21, 2009 ) Hong Kong - Martial arts legend Bruce Lee’s last Hong Kong home is to be preserved by the Hong Kong Government and turned into a tourist attraction, giving belated recognition to one of the city’s most famous sons…

Currently used as a seedy ‘love-motel,’ the two storey property in Kowloon Tong is to be transformed into a museum commemorating the actor and showcasing all of his famous films and martial memorabilia.

Although he was born in San Francisco, Lee grew up in Hong Kong and lived in this house from 1972 until his death the following year from swelling of the brain. He was just 32.

The current owner, billionaire philanthropist Yu Panglin, had originally wanted to sell the two storey 5,699-square-foot town house in an upscale leafy Kowloon suburb, but decided against selling after Bruce Lee fans all over the world lobbied for it to be saved.

Mr Panglin said, “I will consider the views of the community and different parties. I may consider donating the property if the majority thinks we should preserve it.”

The majority did think it should be preserved and the house, which Mr Panglin purchased in the swinging Sixties for £72,000, has now become the centrepiece of a major conservation plan by the Government.

Under the plan the property, which is worth around £8.5 million in today’s market, will be donated to the Government which will run it as a major tourist attraction.

Despite intense lobbying by fans, Hong Kong has done little to preserve the star’s legacy in his adopted city beyond erecting a statue along the city’s famous waterfront. Now this looks set to change.

Government Spokeswoman Winnie To said, “Hong Kong's Commerce and Economic Development Minister met the owner and agreed to the project, which would restore the two-storey house to its “original outlook and features.”

“The Government hopes that the project will enable Lee's supporters to commemorate his achievements.”

The house will now be renovated and extended, turning it into a large museum complex with a cinema, library and martial arts centre.

Michel Choi, Mr Panglin’s Assistant, said, “We have had a meeting with Lee’s daughter and she has agreed to help us restore the mansion to its former shape.

“The family has also agreed to donate some of his personal items to the museum including his movie costumes,” he added.

“We think the community would like to see a creative solution for the house that would involve the private sector,” a Hong Kong tourism official said.

The in house cinema at the new museum will be showing Lee’s most popular films, including Enter the Dragon, The Chinese Connection and Fist of Fury.

Rita Lau, Secretary for commerce and economic development, said, “The Government takes the view that the development should focus on enabling Bruce Lee fans to commemorate the achievements and understand the life of their idol through visiting the residence, and revitalising the building for long-term sustainable operation as a tourism attraction.”

For more information on Chinese properties and the market in general, please visit http://china.themovechannel.com/

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

TheMoveChannel.com is a property website that was founded in 1999 as an online resource for buying, selling and learning about property. It now receives as many as 300,000 visits per month and advertises over 50,000 properties in nearly 90 countries, which are listed by over 500 partner organisations.

For further information as well as images and interview possibilities, please contact:

Dan Johnson
Managing Director
www.themovechannel.com
0207 952 7650


TheMoveChannel.com
Jon Moore
020 7952 7658
j.moore@themovechannel.com


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