Master kung fu writer Jin Yong will forever patron taohuadao (Peach Blossom Island) in a soon-to-be-revealed bronze statue worth two million yuan. Yet the move has stirred a heated debate in public.
Many rebut the idea, citing the oddity of making a statue of a person who is still living.
It's a common practice home and abroad to set up a statue for those deceased wits, in order to preserve a loving memory and encourage the living ones.
Officials of Zhejiang, where the Peach Blossom Island is situated, say the picturesque island, taking advantage of Jin Yong's widely read kung fu novels, has seen a great boost in local tourism.
"Weather Mr. Jin Yong is alive or not is not decisive for building a statue for him," said a local official surnamed Yao, adding "As long as he can contribute a lot to our tourism industry by drawing more visitors here he deserves a stature."
Reports say the life-size bronze statue, featuring a sitting Jin Yong, will be erected around the 15th this month.
Over the years, visitors to the small island have increased substantially as the craze for Jin Yong's martial art novels have been re-ignited.
The small island has been the venue where several TV series adapted from his novels were shot. Its magic spell with numerous peach trees in blossom stunned ?Louis Cha?who's him? when he visited the island in his early years.
Jin Yong, born in Zhejiang in East China, is the world's biggest-selling author of martial arts novels, having sold almost 300 million copies of his works.