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Hong Kong Takes Down Monument from Tiananmen Square

Credit: Unsplash

In 1989, Chinese students held a protest in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, that was brutally suppressed by the Chinese military. The incident resulted in the death of many students. To commemorate this event, Danish sculptor Jens Galschiøt created a statue called the “Pillar of Shame,” standing 26 feet tall and symbolizing the students who lost their lives. This statue has been a memorial at the University of Hong Kong, silently criticizing the Chinese government. The inscription on the plaque reads, “The old cannot kill the young forever.”

However, due to recent anti-subversion laws imposed by Beijing, the statue was removed from its place at HKU. The removal process involved surrounding the statue with construction barriers, the sound of demolition, and wrapping it in plastic. The HKU Council stated that the decision to take down the statue was made based on legal advice and risk assessments for the university’s best interests.

After the removal, witnesses reported seeing emotional reactions from students, with some breaking down in tears at the empty spot where the statue once stood. The sculptor, Galschiøt, called for protests on Twitter in response to the statue’s removal.

Expressing shock at the removal, Galschiøt criticized the action as unreasonable and damaging to private property rights in Hong Kong. He urged people to visit HKU and document the situation with the sculpture and expressed a desire to relocate it to Denmark.

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