Danish sculpture in Hong Kong is still standing but the avocado is missing


The ‘pillar of shame’ is still standing at the University of Hong Kong – Photo: Kris Cheng / HKFP

There has been much controversy over the possible removal of the “Pillar of Shame” sculpture from the University of Hong Kong building. As a letter from a London-based law firm acting on behalf of the University stated that the statute had to be removed “by 5:00 p.m. on October 13, 2021”, or it would be considered “dropped” and processed “in such a way” as the university sees fit, the media and politicians have turned the spotlight on China.

The statue is still standing, however, but the lawyer who sent the letter has now disappeared.

The Danish artist Jens Galschiøt made the sculpture in memory of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. He loaned the sculpture to the University of Hong Kong.

“I don’t think the Chinese authorities expected the destruction of a sculpture in Hong Kong to make so much noise,” Jens Galschiøt told JydskeVestkysten on Tuesday.

The artist spoke to hundreds of media outlets about the controversy. “The status is that the sculpture is still standing even though the authorities said they would take matters into their own hands if the statue was still there. We have people in the view who say the statue is still completely intact,” said declared a member of the staff of the Galschiøt gallery.

It was not just the media that took an interest in the affair. A few Danish politicians also voiced their criticism of the controversial Chinese decision and urged Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofoed to ask the Chinese ambassador to Denmark to explain why China wants the monument removed.

Currently, it appears that the statue remains for the time being, but the lawyer who sent the letter has instead disappeared. Some sources say that this disappearance is also the reason why the statue has not yet been removed.


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