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Tiananmen monument removed from HK university

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The Pillar of Shame monument was removed from Hong Kong’s oldest university on Thursday morning. The 8 meter high sculpture was made in 1997 by the Danish artist Jens Galschiot.

The statue was made in honor of the deaths of the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing in 1989.

“The decision to remove the obsolete monument is based on legal advice and risk analysis,” writes The University of Hong Kong in a statement. It would be in the interest of the university to have the image removed after 24 years. That decision was already taken in October.

The monument consists of fifty tortured faces and tortured bodies stacked on top of each other. On Wednesday evening, plastic barriers appeared around the artwork, after which it was removed.

Artist Galschiot calls it strange and shocking that the statue, which according to him is still his private property, has been removed by the University. “It is a very expensive work. If it is destroyed, I will of course press charges”, says the Dane. He also says he has not been informed of the action of the University.

The protest that took place in 1989 in Tiananmen Square, also known as Tiananmen Square, may have killed thousands of people. The protest against the communist government was brutally stopped by the army.

Every year in Hong Kong the victims are commemorated. Recently, pro-Democratic activists, including the Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai (74), were sentenced to months in prison for participating in an illegal Tiananmen Memorial.

In contrast to mainland China, the Tiananmen protest in Hong Kong could be commemorated until recently. This is because the former British crown colony has been a semi-autonomous region of China with its own mini-constitution since 1997.

However, the influence of the central government has limited democratic freedoms in Hong Kong and has stifled the pro-democracy movement.

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