The giant Angus cattle neon sign that has become a landmark in Western District for nearly four decades was taken down on Wednesday, Ming Pao Daily reported.
The owner of the neon sign, Sammy’s Kitchen boss Sammy Yip, said he spent a sum on it that he could have used to buy a residential flat at the time.
Yip said he had been in negotiations with the Buildings Department over the handling of the sign for four years but he finally agreed to have it taken down.
The sign will be permanently kept by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and could resurface in the M+, a culture museum that it plans to open in 2019.
“Many foreigners had no idea where the Western District was, but they would know if you said the cattle sign,” Yip recalled.
Yip said he personally designed the cattle sign, although the sign makers had made the cattle slimmer than he intended. “It was a mistake, but it has made it unique, too,” he added.
Yip was notified by the Buildings Department in 2011 that the sign, which measures 10 feet wide and 8 feet tall, had been deemed an illegal structure and should be taken down.
Yip’s daughter, Yip Fung-yee, said her family once considered replacing the cattle sign with another neon sign. However, they gave up the idea as the requirements were strict.
In the end, a LED sign that is only one-third of the size of the original cattle sign was chosen.
“It’s the end of an era with the dismantling of the huge cattle sign,” Fung-yee said.
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