Monday, October 17, 2011

Bruce Lee

HONG KONG — Hong Kong on Wednesday said it would build a gallery in honour of Bruce Lee, the Chinese-American legend who helped make martial arts mainstream with kung fu classics like "Fists of Fury".

Lee's legions of fans have long demanded a tribute to the star, who died in 1973 at the age of 32 after setting the world alight with his dazzling fight scenes and innovative martial arts choreography.

The only memorial to the actor and director in his home town -- he was born in San Francisco but spent most of his youth in Hong Kong -- has been a statue on the Avenue of Stars in the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district.

Fans were disappointed in June when the government said a plan to build a Bruce Lee museum in his old house was cancelled after negotiations with the property's current owner broke down.

But Chief Executive Donald Tsang announced in his annual policy address Wednesday that the government would set up a gallery in honour of the artist at the government-run Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

He gave no further details, but fans welcomed the proposal as better than nothing.

"Of course we're still hoping the government could find ways to turn his old home into a museum," Wong Yiu-keung, chairman of the Bruce Lee Fan Club in Hong Kong, told AFP.

Long after Lee's death, his old home was turned into a hotel that was rented for as little as US$25 an hour, usually to amorous couples.