China’s last Tiananmen monument to be removed

China's last Tiananmen monument to be removed

DThe University of Hong Kong wants to quickly get rid of the most famous work of art on its campus: the “Pillar of Shame” by Danish sculptor Jens Galschiat, which commemorates the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre. A week ago, the university’s lawyers gave the suspected owners six days’ time. They should remove the two-tonne concrete idol from the premises by Wednesday.

Frederick Boges

Political correspondent for China, North Korea and Mongolia.

Otherwise the property will be “considered abandoned” and the university will do what it thinks is right, law firm Mayor Brown wrote to the “Hong Kong Alliance in Support of China’s Patriotic Democratic Movements”. The organization has kept alive the memory of the bloody suppression of the protests in Tiananmen Square for decades. It ran a small museum and conducted annual surveillance by hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents before being banned in 2020.

An eight-metre-high “pillar of shame” was erected to mark the vigil for the eighth anniversary of the 1997 massacre. Since then, Allianz has taken care of its maintenance. On Wednesday, however, the organization announced that it is not owned by itself, but by sculptor Jens Galschiot.

sculptor undesirable

Strictly speaking, the alliance no longer exists. The group disbanded in September due to the repressive atmosphere in Hong Kong. Its key members are in custody. He is accused of sabotage and illegal cooperation with foreign powers. Museum exhibits were confiscated. Lawyers for Mayor Brown did not explain in their letter a justification for why the “pillar of shame” should be given way. The university announced on its website that the reason for the move was “current risk assessment and legal advice”.

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