‘Pillar of Shame’ replica statue unveiled in Taiwan

Taiwan will now also unveil a replica of the ‘Pillar of Shame’ as did artist Jens Galschiøt at the University of Oslo in Norway, to honour victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

For almost 25 years, the soaring ‘Pillar of Shame’ stood on the University of Hong Kong (HKU) campus to honor victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. The school’s controversial decision to pull the statue down last December signaled a major blow to freedom of expression in the city which for a long time was one of the few places on Chinese soil where memorials to Beijing’s bloody crackdown were still tolerated.

According to a news report, a three-meter tall replica of the “Pillar of Shame” statue honouring the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident was unveiled at a commemorative vigil in Taiwan on Saturday evening, local media reported.

Ahead of commemorations for the Tiananmen Square incident this weekend, this statue will be unveiled in Taipei after funds were raised by New School for Democracy (NSD) to help develop a copy of the sculpture made by a Danish artist, Taiwan Focus reported.

Tseng Chien-yuan, Chairman of the NSD, said the focal point of the vigil will be the unveiling of the replica of the statue that was previously erected at the University of Hong Kong.

Last December, Workers at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) had removed the Tiananmen Massacre statue, widely known as the “Pillar of Shame,” after the university had said the statue must go.

This monument was created by a Danish artist in memory of those killed in the Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing in 1989.

The Tiananmen incident was precipitated by the peaceful gatherings of students, workers, and others in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and other Chinese cities in April 1989, calling for freedom of expression, accountability, and an end to corruption. The government responded to the intensifying protests in late May 1989 by declaring martial law.

On June 3 and 4, the military opened fire and killed untold numbers of peaceful protesters and bystanders. In Beijing, some citizens attacked army convoys and burned vehicles in response to the military’s violence.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Chinese government should acknowledge and take responsibility for the massacre of pro-democracy protesters in June 1989. The authorities should immediately allow commemorations of the occasion in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, and cease censoring discussions of the crackdown, according to the rights watchdog. (ANI)

Sources: Malaysia Sun and CNN Style

About Jaqueline Deeon

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

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