Statues at two Hong Kong universities were torn down on Friday in memory of the Tiananmen pro-democracy movement, institutions said. These actions continue in the city of tribute to the bloody repression of June 4, 1989 in Beijing.
In the morning, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) removed a statue of the “Goddess of Democracy” from its campus.
The establishment explained that the removal of the “unauthorized statue” came after an internal assessment, adding that the groups responsible for installing the work on the campus in 2010 are no longer active.
This statue by artist Chen Weiming, a six-metre-tall replica created by students demonstrating in Tiananmen Square in 1989, was also a symbol of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
The artist, who is originally based in the United States, expressed his “regret” and his “anger” to AFP, explaining that the university had acted in an “illegal and unfair way”. “They work like thieves at night,” replied the sculptor, while the premises are deserted during the Christmas holidays. “It’s the opposite of being clean and honest… They were afraid of being exposed and receiving feedback from students and alumni.”
The artist assured that his work was on loan, and that he would take legal action if it was damaged. He said he was considering moving them to California, where he runs Liberty Sculpture Park.
This Thursday, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) defaced another statue, the “Pillar of Shame”, to commemorate the bloody action on June 4, 1989.
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“They Erase History”
For its part, Lingnan University, after “examining and assessing objects on campus that may present legal and security risks to the university community”, created a memorial commemorating the events in Tiananmen, the work of the same artist. announced the removal of the bas-reliefs. , The wall representing the goddess of democracy was also repainted there.
On Friday afternoon, travelers with a Chinese character meaning “shame” were visible at the site of the bas-relief and elsewhere on the premises.
Two young women claiming to be former students assured AFP that they were behind these pamphlets, explaining that they were furious after the university’s decision. “They erase history. I don’t want to be forgotten,” he insisted.
The withdrawal of the statues was welcomed by some of the 90 political leaders elected to the local assembly in a ballot reserved for “patriotic” candidates and only a small part by direct universal suffrage.
“Many politicians have manipulated populist sentiments and incited hatred by using banners of democracy and freedom. Today, Hong Kong people can finally breathe freely and return to normal life,” the vice president wrote. Hong Kong’s largest pro-Chinese party, the DAB.
ATS / FGN
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