Jackie Chan donates 6 historic houses to Singapore

By Nikki De Guzman:

Following ten years of failed preservation talks with Hong Kong officials, action film superstar Jackie Chan donated his last six historic Chinese sandalwood houses to Singapore University of Technology and Design, according to media reports.

The houses form part of his collection of 10 historic Chinese sandalwood houses, which he bought in Anhui province in the 1990s. Around 200 and 400 years old, the houses include a stage as well as a pavilion built in traditional Hui-style architecture.

In 2009, Chan donated four of his collection to the city-state, which in turn gave them to the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Chan decided to donate the remaining houses after being impressed by the preservation made by the university to the first four houses.

"These historical buildings are the essence of traditional Chinese architecture and I think it's such a waste if they're not displayed for people to appreciate," said Chan in a post on his official website.

"Ten years ago, I wanted to donate these buildings to the Hong Kong government so they could be displayed to the public," he said. "But after several years of discussions, and for whatever the reasons may be, we still haven't come up with any results."

Meanwhile, the Singaporean government were quick to accommodate the houses and a deal was made to showcase them on the new campus of the university. The campus set to be opened in 2015.

Stephen Chan Chit-kwai, a member of Hong Kong's Antiquities Advisory Board, says he regrets that the city missed such opportunity. He believed that "the buildings should stay in their original locations," and adds that "an old building will lose its cultural and historical significance if it is moved away from its original location."

Nikki De Guzman, Junior Reporter at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email nikki@allproperty.com.sg

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