A Chinese company has unveiled plans in London to restore London’s Crystal Palace.
The Victorian palace in South London was built for the Great Exhibition of 1851, but it burned down in 1936 and has since fallen into disrepair.
But now, the Zhongrong Group has pledged to invest GBP500 million (US$810m) in the redevelopment of the site, including the surrounding Crystal Palace Park.
The China Daily reported Zhongrong’s chairman, Ni Zhaoxing, as saying that he wants to turn Crystal Palace into a centre for fine arts, with facilities including a new café and a visitor centre.
“We want to restore Crystal Palace to its former glory, and we also want to provide a venue for art collectors from all over the world to showcase and trade their collections,” Ni said. He added that some pieces from his own private art collection would be displayed in the palace.
London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson called the plan a “brilliant, original and simple vision” and pledged to throw his “wholehearted support” behind the project.