The owner of martial arts legend Bruce Lee's last home is willing to convert it into a museum and martial arts complex, but he wants the government to allow a 24,000 sq ft building to be constructed on the Kowloon Tong site.
Billionaire philanthropist Yu Panglin, who withdrew the HK$100 million house from sale last week, said this week only a complex of 'great scale, great space and great content' could properly tell the story of the late movie icon. The house is where Lee spent the last years before his death 35 years ago on July 20, 1973.
'We have to make it the best,' said Mr Yu, adding that as well as restoring the 5,000 sq ft two-storey house, he wanted to include a museum, a cinema, a library and a martial arts centre.
Mr Yu's about-turn came after fans of Lee from all over the world made clamorous calls for the building, recently used as a love hotel, to be preserved and turned into a museum commemorating the legendary kung fu star.
Swedish fan Stefan Nikander is one of them. He wrote in a letter that Lee's spirit had helped him through a four-year battle against a brain tumour: 'I'm living every day on borrowed time ... and my dream is to visit the Bruce Lee house in Hong Kong one day.'
Mr Yu, who had put the house up for tender with four other properties, originally planned to use the proceeds from sale to help Sichuan quake victims.