Photo courtesy to CGTN

Lingnan University disassembled Tiananmen Massacre relief, while another portion, Goddess of Democracy, was discarded from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Chen’s Goddess of Democracy statue was also withdrawn from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on Friday, according to a report Citizen News.

The 2008 sculpture is made of copper and is a representation of the original statue assembled by Chinese students in 1989 and was exhibited in the middle of Tiananmen Square just before the crackdown. It came to be an emblem of resistance and liberation for the protesters.

Before this, the University of Hong Kong pulled apart and withdrew a statue known as the Pillar of Shame, one of the few remaining public relics in the former British colony to recall the bloody 1989 crackdown that is a forbidden topic in mainland China, where it cannot be publicly celebrated.

The figure was a key reminder of the wide-ranging freedoms guaranteed to Hong Kong at its 1997 return to Chinese rule. The statue, which stood in the Haking Wong Building of the university, was part of a sequel of works by Danish artist Jens Galschiøt established in 1997 -- the year Hong Kong was paid back to China after more than 150 years of British rule. The statue comprises the inscription: "The old cannot kill the young forever," and was carved to fulfil "as a warning and a reminder to people of a shameful event which must never reoccur," according to the explanation on Galschiøt's website. Galschiøt called the statue's expulsion "a very hard attack against the free word in the world."


Authorities have been trying to clamp down the voices of people in Hong Kong under a China-imposed national security law that human rights activists explain is being used to stifle civil society, jail democracy campaigners, and restrict basic freedoms and free expression. China has never furnished a full report of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. Officials offered a death toll of about 300, but rights groups and witnesses say thousands may have been killed. In the wake of national security law, scores of leading pro-democracy politicians and activists have been jailed or escaped the city, and several civil society groups have disassembled. Attempts to celebrate the episodes of June 4 have also been adversely affected.

The statue embodied something of the crucial difference between Hong Kong and mainland China. "It (the statue) symbolized that Hong Kong still has room for the freedom of speech and it means that Hong Kong is still a different part from China," Alex Lee, the founder of the art-activist group said.

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