Hong Kong University to remove Danish artist’s ‘Pillar of Shame’ Tiananmen Square sculpture

The Danish artist Jens Galschiøt’s ‘Pillar of Shame’ sculpture has stood at the University of Hong Kong for 24 years but now the university will remove it, CNN writes

According to a letter from the London-based law international law firm Mayer Brown LLP acting on behalf of the university, the sculpture had to be removed “before 5 pm on 13 October 2021,” or it would be deemed “abandoned” and dealt with in “such a manner” that the university sees fit.

The sculpture was given on permanent loan in 1997 to the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China which is a pro-democracy organization established during the Tiananmen Square protests. CNN writes that the Alliance announced last month a decision to disband after several of its senior members were arrested under Hong Kong’s national security law which was introduced last year.

Last week after rumors of a possible removal started circulating, Jens Galschiøt drew 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.

Now he says to CNN that he might consider “legal action” if the statue is removed, as the work is still his property. “They’ve given them five days to remove the sculpture, it’s not possible. A lot of students are in jail, this is really crazy and unfair. I had an agreement with the university for the permanent exhibition of this sculpture,” he said.

“This is a big statement from the Chinese government if they remove it. It’s the only monument remembering the Tiananmen crackdown, morally it’s a big problem,” he added. 

About Gregers Møller

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

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