Home LATEST NEWS Hong Kong debunks two more statues erected in tribute to Tiananmen

Hong Kong debunks two more statues erected in tribute to Tiananmen

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Before dawn, workers debunked the goddess of democracy, a 6.40-meter-high bronze sculpture erected for more than a decade on the campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in tribute to the victims of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

In a statement, the institution said that this unauthorized statue had been withdrawn after a internal study.

This sculpture was a replica of the 10-meter-tall statue erected using plaster and polystyrene by students in Beijing’s Central Square, days before the bloody crackdown by the Democratic Movement Army.

A group of about twenty Hong Kong students gathered to denounce the gesture of the university management.

At Lingnan University, authorities removed a bas-relief depicting the events in Tiananmen, including the goddess of democracy and the famous image of the column of tanks stopped in front of a lonely man, as well as victims shot by the Chinese army.

In an email to Reuters, the university leadership said the work may pose legal and security risks.

Already Thursday, the University of Hong Kong had announced the unbolting of a statue eight meters high, baptized the pillar of shame, in memory of Tiananmen and there are now hardly any monuments in tribute to the Beijing Spring in the Hong Kong public space.

Students and journalists in front of a statue.

University students gathered in front of the Pillar of Shame sculpture by Danish artist Jens Galschiot, in remembrance of victims of the Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing, at the University of Hong Kong (archive).

Photo: Getty Images / Anthony Kwan

They eradicate freedoms

Asked by Reuters whether the decision to debunk these monuments came from the Hong Kong or Chinese authorities, the office of Carrie Lam, the head of government of the territory, declined to comment.

For a long time, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, ceded to China by the United Kingdom in 1997, but benefiting from the one country, two systems, was the only region in China where ceremonies to commemorate the June 4, 1989 crackdown could take place.

In the past two years, however, citing the health risks associated with the COVID-19 epidemic, police have banned an annual candlelight vigil in memory of the victims, which regularly drew tens of thousands of people.

Beijing enacted in June 2020 in Hong Kong a draconian security law that the authorities justified by the need to restore stability in the territory after large demonstrations for democracy in 2019.

Human rights activists say this legislative arsenal is being used to wipe out civil society, imprison Democratic activists and curtail fundamental freedoms.

Since implementing the National Security Law in Hong Kong, the Chinese Communists have eradicated freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of speech, lists the sculptor Chen Weiming, author of two of the dismantled works, who promises to sue the universities in case of degradation of his statues.

They want to forget the real story of this brutal repression […]. They no longer want to allow Hong Kong to coexist from different points of view.

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