There was a feeling of sadness, even anger, when Bruce Lee’s former home in Kowloon Tong was reduced to rubble , vanishing together with decade-long efforts to convert the building into a museum honouring the late international movie star. The sorry state of affairs speaks volumes about not just the city’s strong appetite for redevelopment, but also the government’s half-hearted heritage conservation policy. The fate of the low-rise mansion in the upscale residential district was sealed in 2011 after an agreement could not be reached between the government and a charitable trust in charge of the property. The property’s late owner Yu Pang-lin, who bought the house in 1974, had offered to donate it to the government for it to be turned into a museum. But restrictions on land use and structural alteration means the plan eventually did not materialise. It is a shame that no further effort has been made to save the building. Lee is no doubt Hong Kong’s most famous son. But a bronze statue, along with other movie industry memorabilia on the harbourfront in Tsim Sha Tsui, is the only fixed reminder in the city of the kung fu icon. Inside Bruce Lee’s Hong Kong home: from Crane’s Nest to love hotel and why it never became a museum If an ongoing exhibition on his life at the Heritage Museum is any reference, there seems to be strong support for a permanent collection. Ironically, there is no room for such a museum in his hometown. His former residence is to become a centre for Chinese studies for learning Mandarin and music. Only a mosaic left by Lee on the outer wall and four window frames are to be preserved. We do not know whether authorities admire Lee the same way as the people of Hong Kong and his legions of international fans. But it says something about the government policy when the museum proposals led to nowhere. The wrangling over funding and land use has exposed the lack of government will to preserve sites of historical significance or collective memory outside its rigid and ineffective heritage conservation regime. If private heritage buildings covered by the non-legally binding grading system can still be flattened for lucrative redevelopment, there is little hope for others, even one that was once home to the city’s legendary superstar.