After all the controversy around Jackie's donation of four of his old buildings to Singapore, this article points out the heart of the issue and why its important to focus on conserving heritage buildings.
Speaking to China Central Television recently, Jackie Chan said he would go ahead with his plan to donate four old buildings purchased from Anhui province to a Singapore university. "I have done nothing to taint my country. I do not pursue fame and wealth as I already have them," Chan told CCTV. Chan bought the buildings two decades ago because he realized their historical and aesthetic value. That he is donating the buildings to a university rather than selling them to make profit is a welcome move, says an article in Yangtze Evening News. Excerpts:
No one knows whether the buildings would have existed until now, let alone being considered heritage structures, had Chan not bought them 20 years ago. In fact, only a handful of people knew about the buildings before Chan announced that he would donate them to a Singapore university.
For many people, such buildings don't have any aesthetic, architectural or even financial value, and it is highly likely that they would have been demolished if these people had had their way. And it is a pity that many of those who oppose (and condemn) Chan's decision to donate the buildings to a Singapore university are involved in activities that damage (and even destroy) the few existing ancient buildings or turn a blind eye to demolition of heritage structures.
It is easy for such people to use the Internet to criticize a celebrity but very difficult to do something concrete to protect old buildings. Therefore, we should try to find out why ancient buildings are sold in the first place and what should be done to protect them, instead of quarreling about whom Chan has donated the buildings to.