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Thursday, May 19, 2022

HKU faces difficulties in handling Pillar of Shame

HKU faces difficulties in handling Pillar of Shame

The University of Hong Kong faces difficulties in handling the Pillar of Shame, council chairman Arthur Li Kwok-cheung said.
The eight-meter tall statue built by Danish artist Jens Galschiot was supposed to be removed by October over fears that it violates the national security law.

Twisting bodies and painful expressions were carved to symbolize student protesters who lost their lives during the crackdown.

The words "The Tiananmen Massacre", "June 4th 1989" and "The old cannot kill the young forever” were engraved into the base of the statue.

Although the statue has been put up at HKU campus for 24 years, no one has made approval for the arrangement, Li said after casting his vote on Sunday.

HKU sent a letter demanding the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China to remove the statue, but the alliance is now disbanded. The student union at HKU is also dissolved.

Li said the university is still trying to clarify who owns the pillar. It is also hiring a new legal firm for advice after the previous one resigned following the controversy.

On a newsletter shared on Twitter, Galschiøt said the situation is “completely unresolved”.

“I have offered to take it to Denmark, but they will not respond to my inquiries and my request that I, and those who are going to help, will not be arrested, if I come to Hong Kong to pick up the sculpture,” he wrote.

The sculptor said he feared that 2022 will be the year that the sculpture will be destroyed and removed by “an increasingly aggressive and brutal Chinese regime”.

He said thousands of Pillar of Shames are being 3D printed around the world and are being used for creative actions, such as protests against the Winter Olympics in China in February, he said.
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