December 7, 2022

‘Ballard of Shame’ statue removed in Hong Kong’s famous Tiananmen Square

The “Pillar of Shame” sculpture has been in memory of victims for more than 20 years. 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, In which the struggles of college students in Beijing were crushed by the Chinese army with deadly force.
On a platform at the university Hong KongAt the (HKU) campus, a 26-foot-tall (8-meter) statue of decomposed human remains is one of the last iconic monuments to victims of bloody oppression. On Hong Kong Soil.

But at midnight on Thursday, yellow construction barricades were erected around the statue and cracks and demolition noises were heard as the sculpture was removed in the darkness.

Pictures taken during the removal work show workers wrapping the statue in a protective film and lifting it into two separate parts on a crane outside the premises. The HKU Council, the university’s governing body, said in a statement that the sculpture would be stored.

Two children view the “Pillar of Shame” statue on Hong Kong University campus in Hong Kong on October 15, 2021. debt: Louise Delmotte / Getty Images AsiaPac / Getty Images

On Thursday morning, a witness said the site of the sculpture was now vacant and students could be seen crying on campus following its removal. CNN agreed not to release the name of this witness for fear that the person would be retaliated against by the authorities.

Since the enactment of the National Security Act in Beijing in 2020, fears of revenge have been common among those who speak out against the authorities in Hong Kong. Will be in jail for life.

The HKU Council said in a statement that it was “eliminated on the basis of external legal advice and risk assessment in the best interests of the university”.

The sculpture in the university’s Hawking Wong building is part of a series of works by Danish artist Jens Calciot, created in 1997 – Hong Kong returns to China after more than 150 years of British rule. The inscription on the sculpture reads: “The elderly can not kill the young forever,” and it was built to “create a warning and reminder to the people of a shameful event that will not happen again,” as explained on Galschiøt’s website.

For three decades, Hong Kong has been the only country in China to hold annual mass awareness events on June 4, 1989, marking events in and around Tiananmen Square.

Clamtown is one of the most heavily censored topics in China’s mainland, and discussions about it are being wiped out from the mass media. Chinese officials have not released an official death toll, but estimates range from several hundred to thousands.

The guards stand in front of the barricades set up at a height of 26 feet "Pillar of shame."

Security guards stand in front of the barricades erected around the 26-foot-tall “pillar of shame”. debt: Peter Parks / AFP / Getty Images

After the 1997 handover, it continued to raise awareness and similar monuments as a litmus test for Hong Kong’s current autonomy and democratic independence, as promised in its de facto constitution.

However, in the wake of the National Security Act, many prominent pro-democracy politicians and activists Are imprisoned Or left the city, and numerous civil society groups were disbanded.
The last two June 4 vigils have been blocked by police citing corona virus controls. There were later prominent activists, including Joshua Wong and media tycoon Jimmy Loy Was imprisoned for participating At commemorative events in 2020.
The Hong Kong Museum dedicated to victims on June 4th Forced to close Earlier this year, it moved its entire collection online, citing “political repression.”
A security guard stands in front of the ship's container and guards the security guards "Pillar of shame" At the University of Hong Kong, the sculpture was removed.

As the sculpture is removed at the University of Hong Kong, the security guard stands as a barrier in front of a ship’s container and the security guards stand as a “pillar of shame”. debt: Peter Parks / AFP / Getty Images

Following the news that the sculpture was being dismantled, artist Calciot wrote on his Twitter account, “I am shocked to see that the University of Hong Kong is currently destroying the pillar of disgrace. It is utterly unjust and a self-immolation against private property in Hong Kong.”

“We encourage all of us to go to the University of Hong Kong and document everything that happens with sculpture,” he added in a statement. We have done everything we can to tell the University of Hong Kong that we really want to take the sculpture to Denmark. “

In its statement, the HKU Council stated that “no party has obtained permission from the University to place this statue on campus and that the University reserves the right to take appropriate action to deal with it at any time.”

A closer look "Pillar of shame."

An Intimate View of the “Pillar of Shame”. debt: Louise Delmotte / Getty Images AsiaPac / Getty Images

He added, “The university is also concerned about the security concerns posed by a weak statue.

Efforts are already underway to preserve the memory of the Lady Liberty Hong Kong sculpture by a group of art enthusiasts who created a 3-D model using more than 900 photos in October.

“The idea is that everyone can print a copy and put it where they want it,” said Alex Lee, the group’s founder. “In the digital age, there is no limit to what you can do with virtual or physical objects – (hopefully) everyone should try to protect this symbol.”

Workers remove a portion "Pillar of shame" Statue in a container at the University of Hong Kong on December 23rd.

On December 23, workers removed a portion of the “Pillar of Shame” statue in a container at the University of Hong Kong. debt: Anthony Quan / Getty Images

On Sunday, Hong Kong’s first “Chinese Patriots Only” Assembly Election was witnessed by A.J. Record low turnout, Reflects the steep decline in civic and political engagement following the city’s transformation of Beijing’s electoral process earlier this year.

Following the vote, Hong Kong chief executive Gary Lam traveled to Beijing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who supported his administration and praised him for moving the city “from chaos to order”, according to the meeting’s government statement.

With just 30.2% of the vote in the election – a “victory” Xi said, “The city has made steady progress in promoting Hong Kong’s realistic democratic development.”

“The democratic rights of the Hong Kong comrades have been demonstrated,” Ji said.

Many Hong Kong activists who have fled abroad have branded the election – in which prospective candidates were first screened by the government – echoing criticism from many rights groups and international observers that it is a “fake”.

Top image: Workers remove part of the “Pillar of Shame” in a container at the University of Hong Kong on December 23, 2021.