|Saturday, October 25, 2014

Jackie Chan to build new theme park in Beijing 

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BEIJING, Sept 14: Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan announced at a media event on Thursday, plans to build a theme park in Yizhuang, Beijing, in collaboration with a local organisation, reported Chinese media.

The two square kilometre park, named JC World, will have five main paths, each with a separate theme, and aims to give visitors a variety of cultural experiences.

Chan said he will exhibit numerous items from his personal collections, such as special furniture and jewellery, at the park.

“I was very poor when I was a child, so when I had money later on, I bought all sorts of things and went around the world collecting them,” said Chan.

“I want to exhibit all my stuff. They may not all be worth a lot of money, but they may have a story behind them.”

Chan will also be donating the remaining Chinese antique buildings he had purchased and restored over the years to the park.

The park will have no admission fee but contain some ticketed attractions.

“60 per cent of the park will be free, 40 per cent will be ticketed, with the money used to maintain the antique buildings.

“I am not short on money,” said Chan, who is set to shoot a new film with Chinese director Zhang Yimou next year.

Antique burden

Chan’s antique buildings had previously been at the centre of a controversy which saw Chinese netizens blast him for donating four of them to a Singapore university, as they believed the buildings were cultural relics that belonged in China.

Chan explained that the buildings had been “a huge burden” to him for years, and that he had spent huge amounts of money to restore and preserve them, only to discover he could not find a home for them.

“You don’t know the whole process. If I give you these antique houses right now to manage, let’s see how you do it!

“You probably won’t even be able to afford to upkeep them,” said the actor, adding that he had begged a lot of people for over a decade for a place to put his antique buildings, but got nowhere.

It was only after his donation to a Singapore university that he received offers from the world over to house his remaining antique buildings.

Not even his son cared about them until the controversy over his donation revealed how valuable they were.

“He wasn’t interested then. When the news broke, he became very concerned,” said Chan with a smile.

“Now he regrets it, but I have donated them all to China.”

- CNA