The University of Hong Kong withdrew from its campus an 8-meter-high sculpture commemorating the violently repressed demonstration in Tiananmen Square in 1989, the Hong Kong media reported this Thursday South China Morning Post.
The dismantling of the work was carried out at 3:00 in the morning local time on Thursday (19:00 GMT on Wednesday), according to the newspaper.
The Council of the University of Hong Kong, an institution dependent on the authorities of the semi-autonomous region, confirmed the removal of the sculpture, a decision it made “based on external legal advice and a risk assessment”according to a statement.
The display of the statue could “carry legal risks,” according to the Council, which also cited the concern for “security problems caused by the fragility of the sculpture.”
The statue, called ‘Pillar of Shame’, was erected on campus in 1997, year in which Hong Kong ceased to be under British control.
It is the work of the Danish Jens Galschiøt, who called the withdrawal an attack “against private property” and Hong Kong as “a brutal place without laws that protect the population, art or private property.”
The artist assured on the social network Twitter that He has tried to contact the authorities of the territory to inform them that the sculpture is his property and warn them that you will seek compensation for any damage you suffer.
Galschiøt stated that offered to travel to Hong Kong with a specialized team to remove the statue and accused the University of Hong Kong of “not talking to him.”
According to Galschiøt, the work It was a loan to the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of China‘s Democratic Patriotic Movements, association that annually organized vigils in remembrance of the Tiananmen victims between 1990 and 2019.
On the night of June 3-4, 1989, soldiers and tanks of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army violently forced their way to the outskirts of Tiananmen, where hundreds of thousands of university students had been demonstrating for several weeks and workers for an end to corruption and for greater political openness.
The death toll is still unknown, and ranges from a few hundred to several thousand, depending on the source.
Withdrawal occurs a few days after the elections in Hong Kong, whose new system further limited the number of representatives elected by direct suffrage, who also had to be considered as “patriots” by a committee in order to be candidates.
Beijing has tightened its grip on Hong Kong since the massive protests in 2019, to which responded with a controversial security law in 2020 that punished with life imprisonment supposed as “terrorism”, “secession” or “conspiracy” with foreign forces ”.
(With information from EFE)
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