Jens Galschiøt, the Danish sculptor behind ‘The Pillar of Shame’, has asked the Hong Kong government if there’s a warrant out for his arrest. This is after the sculpture was seized and included as evidence in a lawsuit about “undermining the state”.
In a letter to the authorities, Galschiøt ask if there’s been issued an arrest warrant against him should he enter Hong Kong to retrieve his work. He also questions whether there are plans to transfer his case to mainland China.
“I am surprised and angry. I have done nothing. They have confiscated my art and I am the victim,” Galschiøt told Artnet News.
According to Hong Kong’s pro-establishment paper, Sing Tao Daily, there’s a plan to arrest Galschiøt should he travel to Hong Kong. The report added that the authorities are also exploring the possibilities of transferring the case to mainland China under article 55 of the National Security Law. This means that Galschiøt would stand trial on the mainland, which operates under a vastly different legal system.
The Pillar of Shame was first installed at the University of Hong Kong in 1997. It was later removed in December 2021.
A representative of the Hong Kong government’s general contact has confirmed that the letter has been received. They then stated, that only relevant departments will respond.
The artist has been in contact with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the E.U. Parliament about the case.