Danish artist fears China will tear down his sculpture in Hong Kong

The Danish sculptor Jens Galschiøt has created many of his famous sculptures from his workshop located close to Odense in Denmark, amongst others, perhaps his most famous work ‘Shame Support’. But now the Danish artist fears that China will take down or remove one of his ‘pillars of shame’, which is located at the University of Hong Kong, BT reports.

In a press release, Jens Galschiøt writes, “I have been made aware that there rumors circulating about plans to remove or tear down my artwork ‘Shame Support’, which the people of Hong Kong and I have placed in memory of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing in 1989.” 

In the press release, the artist draws attention to the fact that the sculpture was placed in honor and memory of those who died in connection with a demonstration for equal rights, and that it would be both amoral and profane to remove or destroy such a sculpture.

“I will be shocked if there are plans to demolish the only memorial to such an important event in recent times in China,” Jens Galschiø, who hopes that the decision to demolish the sculpture will be changed, writes. 

“I urge all Chinese citizens and the world community to cement the Chinese people and Hong Kong’s right to remember history as it happened and to help protest the removal of this unique memorial,” he states.

According to the two Hong Kong media outlets, The Standard and RTHK, the sculpture marks a revolt that the Chinese authorities do not want to be reminded of. Therefore, there are now plans to remove the sculpture. 

To RTHK, the university itself has stated that it does not want to respond to speculative stories in the media, and can therefore neither confirm nor deny the plans to remove Jens Galschiøt’s sculpture.

The ‘Pillar of Shame’ has stood at the University of Hong Kong for 24 years, and every year on 4 June has been surrounded by students from the university who commemorate the dead and then clean the sculpture.

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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