Bruce Lee

Daughter backs plan to restore Bruce Lee home

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 January, 2009, 12:00am

Scheme pleases late actor's fans

Bruce Lee's daughter has backed a government proposal to restore her late father's former Kowloon Tong residence and expressed hope about contributing to the project.

Shannon Lee told the South China Morning Post via e-mail that she believed the restoration of the 5,000 sq ft two-storey house at 41 Cumberland Road would be attractive. 'I do think restoring the residence is enough if there is also room on the property for a small eatery and gift shop, which I believe can be done in the current space.'

On Tuesday the property's owner, Yu Panglin, met government officials including Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan. Both sides agreed to preserve the property that was formerly known as Crane's Nest, where the movie and martial-arts legend was living when he died in July 1973.

Mr Yu welcomed the government's support despite its opposition to his original suggestion of increasing the building's floor size to 30,000 sq ft to accommodate a cinema, a library and a martial-arts centre.

In October, Lee returned for the first time in almost 35 years to visit the home where she lived with her late father, her mother Linda Lee Cadwell and her brother Brandon Lee, who was accidentally shot on the set of the movie The Crow in 1993. Shannon Lee was four when her father died.

During her visit she met Mr Yu and also representatives of the Tourism Commission and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

'It is my desire to contribute to this project,' said Lee, who heads the charity Bruce Lee Foundation and has been working on the establishment of the Bruce Lee Action Museum in Seattle, where the Lees lived between 1959 and 1964.

'I would very much like for this Hong Kong museum to be affiliated with our US museum. I think if the two museums can share collections and support one another, there is a better chance for each to thrive.

'Reviving my family's old Hong Kong residence is a unique opportunity which I believe should be seized if at all possible and I look forward to helping it see completion.'

The actress said the exhibition to be staged at the residence would play a key role in keeping the place sustainable in the long run.

'In order for the project to have long-term viability, the permanent exhibit has to be compelling, and I do think there needs to be a solid programme of rotating functions on the property.'

The project has earned support from local and overseas fans alike.

Steve Kerridge, a British-based Bruce Lee fan and author of books on the star, said: 'I feel that to restore the building to its original glory is the best idea. The fans will recognise the original features, and this will have more appeal as far as visiting and having photos taken.'

Bruce Lee Club chairman Wong Yiu-keung said fans were very happy with the positive government response. 'All the fans will provide information [on Lee] and offer help.'