torsdag 23. desember 2021

Outcry as Hong Kong University memorial to Tiananmen Square victims is removed

Hong Kong’s oldest university has removed a statue mourning those killed in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 and posted guards at the site where it has stood for more than 20 years. The move prompted criticism of the university and the Hong Kong authorities, with academics and experts saying the removal of the sculpture was an attempt at “rewriting history”.

The 8-metre-tall (26ft) Pillar of Shame by the Danish sculptor Jens Galschiøt was one of the few remaining public memorials in the territory commemorating the bloody crackdown that is a taboo topic in mainland China, where it cannot be publicly marked. It had sat on the University of Hong Kong (HKU) campus since 1997, the year the city was handed back to China.

Late on Wednesday, university staff used floor-to-ceiling sheets and plastic barriers to shield the statue from view, according to witnesses at the scene. Loud noises from power tools and chains emanated from the closed-off area for several hours before workmen were seen carrying out the top half of the statue and winching it up on a crane towards a waiting shipping container.