Kung fu legend Bruce Lee's former residence in Hong Kong will be put up for sale after a plan to turn the property into a museum dedicated to the icon failed, a report said last Wednesday.
Philanthropist Yu Panglin, who owns the mansion, which became a rundown "love hotel", said that he was planning to sell the property for HK$180 million (S$28.
4 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 Hong Kong's Chinese-language 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 (1971) and Enter the Dragon (1973).
However, they were left disappointed after the Hong Kong government shelved the museum plan in June last year, saying that it failed to reach a consensus with Mr Yu following two years of negotiations, without giving details.
Mr Yu said that the government rejected his proposal to expand the mansion 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 (460 square-metre) two-storey house in Hong Kong's upscale residential district of Kowloon Tong was turned into a short-stay hotel with rooms rented for as little as US$25 an hour, usually to amorous couples.
Lee's fans urged the billionaire to reconsider his plan.
"If the house is sold and re-developed or demolished later, I think the Hong Kong people and Bruce Lee fans worldwide will be very disappointed," Wong Yiu-keung, chairman of the Bruce Lee Fan Club in Hong Kong, told AFP.