Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee's former house in Kowloon Tong to go on sale

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2012, 3:58pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2012, 4:00pm

Kung fu legend Bruce Lee’s former residence in Kowloon will be put up for sale after a plan to turn the property into a museum dedicated to the icon failed, a report said on Wednesday.

Philanthropist Yu Panglin, who owns the mansion, which became a rundown ‘love hotel’, said he was planning to sell the property for HK$180 million after talks with the government for the museum collapsed last year.

“I’m no longer considering (the museum plan) since the government is not supportive,” the 90-year-old billionaire told the Singtao Daily in an interview.

“I’m running out of patience, I don’t want to wait anymore,” he said, adding that the hotel owner had failed to pay rent for two years due to poor business, with the property in urgent need of refurbishment.

Lee’s legions of fans have long-demanded a significant hometown tribute to the Chinese-American star, who died in 1973 at the age of 32 after helping to bring martial arts to the mainstream with classic kung fu films such as Fists of Fury and Enter the Dragon.

However, they were left disappointed after the government shelved the museum plan in June last year, saying it failed to reach a consensus with Yu following two years of negotiations, without giving details.

Yu told the newspaper the government rejected his proposal to expand the mansion – Lee’s last residence – by adding three floors to include a cinema, library and martial arts training centre, which were his conditions to donate the property.

The 5,000 square-foot two-storey house in Kowloon Tong has been used as a short-stay love hotel for several years.

Yu could not be reached on Wednesday for comment.

The kung fu star died in Hong Kong after a severe reaction to medication. His fans have criticised the lack of a larger memorial to their hero in his hometown, except for a statue on the waterfront Avenue of Stars.

The government said in October last year a gallery would be set up in Lee’s honour at the government-run Hong Kong Heritage Museum.