Temporary Bruce Lee exhibit may open in 2013
A planned five-year museum exhibition on late kung fu legend Bruce Lee received approval from a lawmakers' panel yesterday, bringing the HK$24.8 million plan to commemorate the movie star closer to fruition.
The exhibition, which will cover 650 square metres, is intended to be staged at the Heritage Museum in Sha Tin, hopefully from the first half of next year.
'The exhibition ... is not only eagerly anticipated by the people of Hong Kong, but is also expected to attract many tourists from the mainland and overseas,' the Leisure and Cultural Services Department said in its proposal.
The Legislative Council's home affairs committee gave its approval but urged the department to make it permanent. The department's next step is to seek funding from the finance committee in April.
The proposal emerged after extensive talks with the owner of the late star's former home at 41 Cumberland Road, Kowloon Tong, on turning into a museum fell through. It was revealed in June last year that the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau could not agree on the scope of the development with philanthropist Yu Panglin, the owner of the two-storey house, where the star spent the last year of his life.
Yu offered in 2008 to donate the house, which operates as a short-time love hotel and was worth more than HK$100 million, to the city. His condition was that it should be expanded to include a cinema, library and martial arts training centre. But the government said this was not possible in a low-rise residential area.
Now the bureau and department are working on the Sha Tin exhibition to 'showcase [Lee's] legendary life and his contributions to the film industry and martial arts culture'.
It will include Lee's public profile, films, and martial arts and cultural influences. It will reconstruct the living room of his childhood home, and the fitness room and study in the Kowloon Tong residence.
A 75-minute documentary film will describe his life story and include interviews with people who were close to him. There will also be guided tours and workshops to help visitors understand Lee's martial arts theories and filmmaking ideas.
The bureau expects no recurrent spending beyond HK$24.8 million.