Macau hotel to display Jacko 'moonwalk' glove
Sun, Nov 22, 2009

HONG KONG (AFP) - A hotel in the glitzy Asian gambling haven of Macau will display Michael Jackson's rhinestone-encrusted glove after paying US$350,000 for the piece of pop history at auction, the hotel said Sunday.

Jackson wore the sparkling glove when he performed his first "moonwalk" dance in 1983. The auction in New York on Saturday featured more than 70 items from the late pop icon's career.

Hoffman Ma, deputy chief executive of the Ponte 16 gaming resort, made his winning bid on the hotel's behalf. With commission included, the glove cost US$420,000 in total, spokeswoman Jennie Yeung said.

The five-star hotel -- half-owned by legendary gambling tycoon Stanley Ho's Sociedade de Jogos de Macau -- will open a gallery early next year to showcase the glove and nine other Jackson items from the auction, Yeung told AFP.

Macau, a former Portuguese colony, was handed back to China in 1999 and is the only city on Chinese soil to allow casino gambling.

The decision to buy Jackson memorabilia had been discussed by Ponte 16's senior executives for several months, Yeung said.

"Michael Jackson is a legendary entertainer and so it was very important to buy some of his collectibles," she added.

"We're definitely planning to exhibit the glove with some of the other items we bought."

The hotel plans to turn the gallery into a "gathering place in Asia" for Jackson fans, it said in a statement.

"We aim to create a 'Rendezvous' to reminisce this great performer of the 20th century," Ma was quoted as saying.

Among the nine other items that Ponte 16 bought were a pair of sequin-encrusted socks, portraits of Charlie Chaplin drawn by Jackson as a child, and a shirt he wore in his iconic "Thriller" video.

The pre-sale estimate was for the glove to fetch a modest US$40,000 to US$60,000.

But with Jackson mania surging five months after his death, frenzied bidders from around the world and at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York's Times Square sent the price rocketing.

Jackson regularly added a single glove to his costume in concert or in his ground-breaking music videos, and many are in the hands of collectors.

Another crystal-studded white glove sold in Melbourne in September for 49,000 dollars.

But the glove sold Saturday -- which originally cost US$30 -- has a special claim to fame as the one worn when Jackson first performed his instantly cult "moonwalk" dance.

Jackson never hosted a concert in China during his lifetime although thousands of fans in mainland Chinese cities flocked to a screening of his "This is It" film after he died of a prescription drug overdose on June 25, aged 50, at his Los Angeles mansion.

The behind-the-scenes movie of Jackson's preparations for a comeback concert planned before his death, raked in more than US$200 million in its first two weeks.

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