Over the weekend in Los Angeles, the one and only Bruce Lee was honored with the unveiling of a new statue of the martial arts legend in Chinatown -- the first and only statue of its kind in the United States: Historic Dedication Made In Honor Of Bruce Lee During LA Chinatown's 75th Anniversary.
The 7.6-foot-tall bronze statue currently sits in Chinatown's historic Central Plaza. It was unveiled as part of the annual nighttime celebration Chinatown Summer Nights and the 75th anniversary of Chinatown, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Chinatown Corp. and the Bruce Lee Foundation:
The unveiling caps a three-year effort to bring a Bruce Lee statue to Chinatown, said Larry Jung, president of the Los Angeles Chinatown Corp., a business group that helped found Chinatown. In 2010, an effort to erect the statue at the Alpine Recreation Center failed over a disagreement on funding. Jung said he hopes the statue will highlight Lee's lesser-known history with the area.The statue will be on display temporarily during Chinatown Summer Nights, but they still need to raise $150,000 to permanently install and maintain the statue and its surroundings, which would be awesome. For further information on the statue's next steps, follow updates on the official Bruce Lee Facebook page.
Lee, a major influence on Hollywood's portrayal of Asian Americans, moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s. While playing Kato in an early television adaptation of the "Green Hornet," he opened his third martial arts academy in a studio at 628 West College St. in north Chinatown.
The statue was donated by the Bruce Lee Foundation, a nonprofit group formed to honor the martial artist's legacy. Jung said the statue's placement in Chinatown is special because it honors the area's history - Chinatown turns 75 this year.