Rolly Wong Yu-cho is a third-generation collector of Chinese antiquities who dreams of making Hong Kong a cultural winner during the Olympics. The 60-year-old businessman wants to adorn Hong Kong's Equestrian Olympic venues in August with life-sized stone sculptures of horses from his collection of 'about 60', which he says date from the Yuan (1279-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Sui (589-617) dynasties. He says the collection in the garden of his New Territories home would help everyone 'to feel, enjoy and understand China's cultural heritage'. Documentation for many of the pieces has been 'destroyed or lost over so many years', says Wong. Nor has the collection been evaluated by Hong Kong's cultural authorities, so Wong hopes international experts will reveal more about his treasures which he says could put Hong Kong on the world cultural map, especially during the Games. 'Let all the Olympic riders have photos with individual stone horses and give them names,' he says. 'We'll support the riders by putting the horses in the field. We'll also show the world that Hong Kong is a Chinese cultural platform.' Wong has already moved six 2-tonne horse statues to a path outside the Crown Wine Cellars in Shouson Hill, the former Central Ordnance Munitions Depot that recently received a Unesco cultural heritage award. This is a gesture of support for Crown Worldwide Group's commitment to preserving a historic site, he says. For indoor display at the Equestrian Olympics, Wong wants to loan about 30 terracotta horses he says are from the Han dynasty (206BC-220AD), the like of which, he says, can be found only in Xian. These statues are just part of a collection that has stood on Wong's rambling 100,000 sq ft property in Tai Po for more than 60 years, largely unnoticed. He also points to stone Buddha statues he says are from the strongly Buddhist period of the Northern Wei (386-535), lions from the Yuan and Ming, tigers from the Jin (1115-1234) and rams from the Song dynasty (960-1279). Wong estimates that he has nearly 2,000 stone sculptures and other art pieces that he has valued at 'about HK$10 billion'. 'Every piece is unique. I believe it's one of the biggest such collections outside of China,' he says. A number of the Buddha heads are among 'the largest and most important outside China' and attract Buddhist monks from all over the mainland and Southeast Asia, Wong says. Wong shares his family home with the collection. Large iron Buddha heads 'from either the Jin or the Song' are in the laundry area, above a bicycle. His living room is full of Buddha statues, coloured figurines in near mint condition that he says are from the Tang dynasty (618-907) and other treasures such as a Tibetan tanka 'from the 18th century'. It is easy to overlook a large oil painting that Wong attributes to the 16th-century Venetian School and says came from a castle his father bought in Europe. In a nearby shed is a phalanx of smaller terracotta statues, many with the original pigment visible. They are a rich documentary source for scholars of everyday life in ancient China, says Wong, who also has a collection of 10 classic cars. His Olympics idea is a prelude to a bigger plan to establish a Chinese culture heritage foundation this year. If he can raise about HK$200 million, he says he will donate his entire collection to the foundation for public exhibition 'and enjoyment', scholarly research and student and cultural exchanges. The foundation could also organise museum exchanges and train Hong Kong and mainland staff, especially in restoration, and organise international tours of treasures from the collection. Wong is also hoping the government will help him find a heritage building to house the entire collection. The sculpture collection was started by his grandfather, 'a large landlord' in Wuxi, Jiangsu, Wong says. His father, Wong Tak-sing, expanded it 'a hundred times', buying stone statues that 'not too many people were interested in collecting' in the 1930s, he says. The owner of a large enamelware and jewellery business, Wong senior progressively moved his family, plant and collection to Hong Kong from the late 30s, settling in Tai Po in the late 40s. Rolly Wong, who is managing director of Venture Capital Corporation, a US$500 million bankruptcy business based in Toronto, expanded the collection. As a child Wong played football and badminton on the grass between the Buddha statues while his father walked through the garden, 'calming his mind, relieving tension and recharging his batteries'. Wong says his father had visited ancient Buddhist grottoes in sites such as Dunhuang and Datong where he learned from monks and artists that ancient Buddha statues absorbed the energy of all who prayed before them over the centuries. Brimming with such energy, statues give energy back, he says. 'My father never thought about the value of what he bought,' Wong says. 'He just would buy the statues. He was a Buddha junkie. He had seen and studied the temples of Wutai Shan in Shanxi province and his goal was to build a Wutai Shan in Hong Kong.' Wong says the time is right to talk about his collection and plan for the foundation. 'I'm worried that as I get older, I won't have the energy to do this kind of thing,' he says. 'I can give another 10 to 15 years to finish, in my last chapter, the story my father started. 'I'm also worried about the statues being outside. You can see the green moss already getting into the stone and many need repairs,' Wong says, tugging at a weed at the base of one Buddha head. Wong says he wants to restore such pieces to their homeland. 'If we can find out their place of origin, the foundation will put them back,' he says. He says many collectors in Hong Kong want to put their treasures on public display but that there are few exhibition venues. Relevant government authorities are aware of his collection, he says, and his intention to make it accessible 'including [to] blind people so they can feel China's heritage'. But no senior officials have visited him, Wong says. 'They want to avoid the subject. They try to push it around, just like with King Yin Lei,' Wong says, referring to the Stubbs Road mansion that recently was partially destroyed for redevelopment after the government failed to act on a letter from its owner to consider its preservation. 'Hong Kong museums are spending millions to borrow fine arts from other museums but they should concentrate more on what we have here,' he says. 'If the collection is hiding here, only our family can enjoy it. It's not fair for Hong Kong people or people all over the world.' Wong realises there are other cultural organisations in Hong Kong that are also building heritage collections. 'Yes, there's a lot of talk and fantasy. But this is already here, this is the real McCoy,' he says. Olympic and government officials better act fast if they want to display the stone steeds in August, Wong says. The Games are only 184 days away.