Fans of late Taiwanese pop diva Fong Fei-fei (鳳飛飛) accused the Taoyuan County Government of milking her memory for more than NT$10 million (US$329,892).
Fong, whose legacy includes 81 albums and numerous popular singles, died of lung cancer in Hong Kong on Jan. 3, 2012, aged 58.
Ministry of Communications and Transportation funds were awarded to the county government to create a series of attractions in Fong’s hometown of Dasi (大溪) that would trace her life from her childhood and include repairs to the walls of Dasi Elementary School, Fong’s family home and the square in front of Puji Temple.
The county government added that the roads would be repaved with tiles and the walls lined with pictures of Fong, with her life’s story beside the photographs at key locations — including the roads near her family home and the Zhongzheng Park.
However, fans who visited Dasi said there were no signs or maps, and no information on the county government’s Web site.
The fans said some of the locals that they asked were unaware of the project.
A private local guide said that the area near Fong’s family home contained laminated posters made by her fans and that new tiles with her image and photographs of her signature hat have been laid out around Fujen Temple and on sewer caps.
“The symbols are very small, roughly the size of a slice of toast, and some have been darkened or stained over,” the guide said, adding that tourists would need to strain to see them.
A statue of Fong that was intended for the front of Zhongzheng Park had been moved to the edge of a small alley next to Puji Temple, the guide said, adding the relocation was to stimulate tourist activity in that part of the town.
“However, the location of the alley makes the statue quite hard to find,” the guide said.
Fans said the quality of the project did not warrant the money spent, and failed to deliver on the grandiose promises made earlier.
The county government’s Tourism Promotion Bureau Director Lee Shao-wei (李紹偉) said the project’s “hardware” part had been completed last year, with only the “software” remaining.
He said the link between QRcode maps and local tourism maps are awaiting Fong’s secretary’s consent. Lee added that once this is completed, fans would be able to scan QR codes for all the key hotspots while listening to her music.
“We hope to give tourists and fans the impression that Fong herself is guiding them around her hometown,” Lee said.
The head of the department’s tourism development division, Chang Hsiang-hua (張襄華), added that some of the designs differed from the originals due to copyright issues and negotiations with the local residents.