Finally, the Tsz Monastery Buddhist Art Museum dominates the city. After ten long years of construction, the monastery of Tsz Shan, located on the green heights of Tai Po and renowned for its bronze statue, 76 meters high, representing Guan Yin, goddess of Mercy, finally welcomes the rich collection of Buddhist works of art. Visitors will be able to admire a hundred statues from Japan, India or Burma, including a Buddha head dating from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), but also 43 Sanskrit texts, all spanning more than 2200 m2.
The $3490 million project was funded by the foundation of tycoon Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong's first fortune and avid Buddhist practitioner. Nicknamed "Superman" for his financial superpowers, the businessman began his career selling watches before investing in flowers, plastic toys and real estate. At 91, Li Ka-shing longs for more spiritual riches: “In which direction should we move forward to prosper together? I hope that the Tsz Shan monastery can be a space dedicated to such reflections”, he confided in an interview granted to the daily South China Morning Post, at the end of March.
During the presentation ceremony to the officials, Carie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, said: "The priceless collection of the Tsz Shan Monastery Buddhist Art Museum not only represents the luminous ideals of Zen, but also provides the basis of a cultural programme. More than just a museum, the sanctuary indeed aims to become a real cultural center dedicated to the promotion of Buddhism. It houses three temples, a Bodhi tree and three dormitories that can accommodate some 80 monks.
Note that the entrance to the museum is currently free provided you book your tickets online. As the admission quota is limited to 400 visitors per day, it is advisable to reserve your place at least one month in advance