The Danish artist Jens Galschiøt’s sculpture in memory of the victims of the Tiananmen massacre in Beijing in 1989 will now be erected at the University of Oslo on 25 May 2022. The statue “Pillar of Shame” was banned by the Chinese government, which removed it from the University of Hong Kong last year.
Secretary General John Peder Egenæs of Amnesty Norway believes that China will dislike the move, according to a coverage of the news by the Norwegian state owned media, NRK. But he adds: “In our society we have freedom of expression so they will have to live with it.”
The “Pillar of Shame” statue was erected outside the University of Hong Kong in 1997. The eight-meter-high monument was a memorial to the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989. In December last year, the statue was removed by the university at the request of the Chinese authorities.
On May 25, another version of the statue will be unveiled at the Faculty of Law in Oslo, where it will stand for a around one month.
The erection of the memorial in Oslo is a collaboration between Amnesty International Norway, the Hong Kong Committee in Norway and the Danish artist Jens Galschiøt.
When a version of the statue was erected in Copenhagen, the Chinese embassy demanded that he be removed. The embassy said the statue would offend Chinese tourists in the city and create a bad relationship between Denmark and China. In addition, they claimed that the statue was a security risk, because it could lead to riots.
Despite the inquiries from the embassy, the statue that is now being sent to Oslo was allowed to stand.