Eating Among the Stars

April 16, 2015
Editor: Eileen Cheng
  

Man Tingfang with an autograph by a soccer player [hf365.com]

A 26-year-old former air hostess from Hefei, capital city of east China’s Anhui Province, has opened a "museum canteen" called Dr. Muriel, where savvy diners can eat surrounded by hundreds of celebrity autographs and transcripts.

Man Tingfang's unusual restaurant is located in the city's bustling Swan Lake Wanda Plaza. From the outside, this small establishment seems inconspicuous. A line snaking from its door, however, reflects something different about it from the other cafes.

"History you can’t change, own it you can!" is the Man's slogan. In the canteen of about 100 square meters, signatures and other writings by famous faces, from China and abroad, from ancient to modern times, shine from the walls. Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the United States, French king Louis XIV, Michael Jackson, Chinese tennis star Li Na—you name it—all have their moments and memories of their lives collected in this faraway place.

Each item on display is authentic and has been certified by authoritative international agencies, says Man, who revealed that her cousin, a fan of the British soccer icon David Beckham, has contributed a lot to the collection. When her cousin was still a young boy in junior high school, he wrote to the sportsman and got a reply with an autographed photo enclosed, to his great surprise. Using the same methods, he received more and more photos of soccer stars, which encouraged Man to follow in his footsteps and collect autographs and transcripts of celebrities in various fields by herself.

Year in, year out, Man keeps enriching her collections through numerous auctions and trips around the world. To display these collections to the public and make money, she established the "museum canteen", and named it Dr. Muriel, at the end of 2014.

Since then the popular place has attracted great public attention. Man wants to build several themed sections, including an area for autographs and transcripts of U.S. presidents. "My story of collecting is far from over", she added.

(Source: society.people.com.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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