In news- The University of Hong Kong has ordered the removal of the 8-metre high Tiananmen Square massacre statue placed within Haking Wong Building inside the University since 1997.
About the sculpture-
- Danish Sculptor Jens Galschiøt had gifted the statue to the now-disbanded Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China in 1997.
- It was made in remembrance of the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.
- The People’s Liberation Army had opened fire on student protestors who had been protesting since mid-April in 1989 against corruption, unemployment, inflation, etc.
- The statue shows 50 bodies with anguish-ridden faces piled up together commemorating unarmed student protestors who were killed as Chinese troops opened fire on them.
- The sculptures remind people of a shameful event which must never recur.
- The Hong Kong Alliance has been responsible for cleaning and maintaining the statue every year since it was installed.
- In 2008, the Alliance painted the statue orange during their “The Color Orange” campaign as it “was a mixture of red, representing the dictatorship of China, and yellow, representing freedom and human rights”.
Other Pillars of Shame-
- Ostiense Air Terminal, Rome, Italy, 1996, during the FAO Summit, depicting the deaths caused worldwide by hunger due to the uneven distribution of the world’s resources.
- Acteal, Chiapas, Mexico in 1999, to mark the site of the December 1997 massacre of 45 members of the civil society group Las Abejas.
- Brasilia, Brazil in 2000 in homage to the victims of the Eldorado dos Carajás massacre which occurred in 1996.
- A fourth Pillar of Shame was planned in Berlin, Germany, in homage to the victims of the Nazi regime but due to various problems, the artist had to cancel the project