HONG KONG (Reuters) - A mansion that once belonged to Kung Fu legend Bruce Lee in Hong Kong may be preserved as a museum, giving belated recognition to one of the city’s most famous sons, a newspaper reported on Thursday.
Billionaire philanthropist tycoon Yu Panglin had put Lee’s two-storey, 5,699-square-foot town house in an upscale leafy Kowloon suburb up for sale but later changed his mind, according to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post.
“I will consider the views of the community and different parties. I may consider donating the property if the majority thinks we should preserve it,” Yu said in the report, adding he had turned down an offer of HK$105 million ($13 million).
Lee, who died in mysterious circumstances in 1973, aged 32, starred in such Kung Fu classics as “Fist of Fury,” “Game of Death” and “Enter the Dragon.”
He is revered both by martial arts adherents and movie buffs the world over for popularizing the Kung Fu cinematic genre, and helping usher in a golden age of Hong Kong film in the late 60s.
Despite intense lobbying by fans, Hong Kong has done little to preserve the U.S.-born star’s legacy in his adopted city beyond erecting a statue along the city’s famous waterfront.
“That would be fantastic news because fans and the community wouldn’t have the money to buy out this property,” Michael Tien, a member of Hong Kong’s Bruce Lee fanclub, was quoted as saying.
The government said it would consider the possibility of converting Lee’s spacious home into a museum, taking as a model other memorial sites to global stars, including the Beatles Story in Liverpool and Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion in Tennessee.
“We think the community would like to see a creative solution that would involve the private sector,” a Hong Kong tourism official was quoted in the paper as saying.