Kung-fu icon Bruce Lee would surely have found a more forceful way to sort out a Hong Kong dispute over his legacy.
Instead, the debate over what to do with the Kowloon Tong district house in which Lee once lived has become a bureaucratic tussle between the government, martial arts fans around the world and billionaire businessman Yu Panglin.
Lee lived for several years, until his death in 1973, in the two-story house, affectionately dubbed “the crow’s nest.”
Yu hoped to sell the digs, currently being used as a “love hotel,” for about $12.8 million. But Lee fans protested, fearing the place would be torn down to free its valuable land for other uses.
Yu backed off and instead aimed to turn the site into a Lee museum.
But last week the territory’s famously hands-off government said it will not provide any money for the venture.
Now, according to the South China Morning Post, Yu is willing to foot the bill himself on condition that the government rewrites planning regs so he can restore the house and add a cinema, library and martial arts center.
Yu says any profits would go to charity.
San Francisco-born Lee became famous in the movies of Golden Harvest, but the territory has done little to recognize his work beyond erecting a statue of him on the Kowloon waterfront.