Did Victor Sassoon build his own memorial in Shanghai?

This is the argument that New York Times journalist Taras Grescoeoct makes in a recent paper on “The man who changed the face of Shanghai.” There is little that is not already known about the Peace Hotel/Sassoon House or Sir Victor Sassoon himself. The paper is part of an enduring fascination for Shanghai and the myths it still nurtures in Western imaginary. The paper unfolds a nice story about Grescoeoct’s visit of two major buildings Sir Victor Sassoon erected in the city, the Sassoon House (presently known as the Peace Hotel) and Embankment Building. To be honest, it took more than one man, however exceptional, to “change the face of Shanghai”. Yet, Shanghai afficionados will be intrigued by the idea that Sir Victor Sassoon left an indelible though discrete trace of his achievements in the city by leaving his initials VS carved in the urban landscape through the shape of these two buildings. Not convinced? Well, why not follow Grescoeoct’s steps (you will be able to enjoy a Conte Verde, courtesy of Grescoeoct to the bartender) and see for your self?


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