The Danish artist Jens Galschiøt’s statue “Pillar of Shame”, was confiscated by the police in Hong Kong on Friday ,May 5. The piece is being included as evidence in a lawsuit about “undermining the state”.
The trial is about breaches of Hong Kong’s controversial national security legislation.
The security legislation is a string of laws that China implemented in 2020, after there had been large protests in Hong Kong with demands for more democracy and less Chinese influence.
Since then, several democracy activists have been sentenced to long prison sentences. Amnesty International has stated that verdicts are expected in a number of those cases during the next months.
Galschiøt’s shame support is a symbol of the fight for democracy. The sculpture has been on display at the University of Hong Kong since 1997, but was removed in December 2021.
The eight-metre-high sculpture depicts a series of twisted bodies stacked on top of each other.
It was made in the memory of victims of the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing – also known as Tiananmen Square – in 1989. Several advocates of increased democracy in China were killed during the demonstrations.