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Statue of martial arts great Bruce Lee unveiled in L.A.’s Chinatown

brucelee

Several hundred people turned out for the unveiling of a Bruce Lee statue in Los Angeles. (Frank Shyong / Los Angeles Times / June 16, 2013)

By Frank Shyong

Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — A 7-foot bronze statue of martial arts great Bruce Lee, a former UW student, was unveiled to a crowd of several hundred in Los Angeles’ historical Central Plaza on Saturday night.

(Here is a Seattle video from February 2013)

The unveiling of the statue capped a five-year effort to bring the statue to Chinatown, said Shannon Lee, Bruce’s daughter and president of the Bruce Lee Foundation. The statue, created by an artist in Guangzhou, China, is the first such statue of her father in the United States, Shannon Lee said.

Though the statue will not be permanently installed until business leaders can raise $150,000 to install seating and a concrete plinth, the timing was right for the unveiling, Shannon Lee said. This year is the 40th anniversary of her father’s death, as well Chinatown’s 75th year of existence. And Saturday was the day before Father’s Day.

“Seeing it there in its permanent spot with the night sky of Chinatown … it really struck me,” Shannon Lee said.

Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco’s Chinatown, lived in Oakland, attended the University of Washington and opened several martial arts schools in Seattle’s Chinatown. But he was a fixture in Los Angeles’ Chinatown in the 1960s, opening a school on West College Street and working out at the Alpine Recreation Center. Lee stood out, jogging energetically around a neighborhood where almost no one did, said Shannon Lee.

To read the entire L.A. Times story, click here.

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