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 different parts on a crane outside the premises. The HKU Council said the sculpture would be kept in storage.
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 imposition of the National Security Act on the city of 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.
Security guards stand in front of the barricades erected around the 26-foot-tall “pillar of shame”. debt: Peter Parks / AFP / Getty Images
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.
After the 1997 handover, the continuation of the Awakening and similar monuments were seen as the litmus test for Hong Kong’s current autonomy and democratic independence, as promised in its practical constitution.
As the sculpture is removed at the University of Hong Kong, a security guard stands as a barrier in front of the ship’s container and 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 a pillar of disgrace. It is utterly unjust and a self-immolation against private property in Hong Kong.”
An Intimate View of the “Pillar of Shame”. debt: Louise Delmotte / Getty Images AsiaPac / Getty Images
“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 want to take the sculpture and bring it to Denmark. “
The HKU Council said in a statement that “no party has received permission from the university to place this statue on campus and the university has the right to take appropriate action to handle it at any time.”
He added, “The university is also very concerned about the security concerns posed by the weak statue.
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
Following the vote, Hong Kong Chief Executive Gary Lam traveled to Beijing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who approved 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 fled abroad stamped the election – in which prospective candidates were first screened by the government – echoing criticism from many rights groups and international observers that it was 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.
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