Kung fu star Jackie Chan has donated historic buildings and antiques from his personal collection to make a cultural education base, the actor announced on Monday at an annual session of China's top advisory body in Beijing.
Speaking as a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Chan revealed that he has donated four wooden-structure Hui-style heritage houses – a prominent form of architecture from ancient China – to a cultural exhibition park in Bengbu city, Anhui province.
The buildings date back from the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Chan said he bought and sent the buildings in parts from Anhui to Shanghai more than two decades ago for repair work, then stocked them in Hong Kong and Tianjin. The parts arrived at the exhibition park in January this year and are currently being reassembled there.
Chan said that in the coming years he expects to donate more to the park in Anhui, where the buildings originally resided. "I want to build a Jackie Chan culture venue, which will later became an education base for young people to make them love traditional Chinese culture more,” the actor announced.
He added that China has many more old buildings in need of restoration, and that he hopes his venue can show young people how restoration is done and let them discover the beauty of traditional Chinese architecture. "Protecting cultural heritage is an obligation for everyone," he said.
Chan's earlier donation of a pavilion and an opera stage to the Singapore University of Technology and Design in 2013 led to controversy over the actor’s choice of recipients as well as the preservation of China’s cultural relics more generally.
The first session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee will close on March 15.