New 'Pillar of Shame' sculpture featuring Hong Kong protesters to be erected in Denmark

New 'Pillar of Shame' sculpture featuring Hong Kong protesters to be erected in Denmark

Made by Jens Galschiot to show solidarity with the movement, the piece makes its debut outside the Danish parliament on January 23

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Jens Galschiot’s new work, which depicts torn and twisted bodies to mourn those killed in the Tiananmen Square crackdown, also features faces of Hong Kong’s protesters, with helmets, goggles and gas masks.
Photo: Handout

The Danish artist who created a sculpture in his Pillar of Shame series in honour of the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing has made a new piece of artwork to show solidarity with Hong Kong's anti-government protesters. 

The eight-metre-tall sculpture will be erected outside the Danish parliament on January 23.

Jens Galschiot’s new work, which depicts torn and twisted bodies to mourn those killed in the Tiananmen Square crackdown, also features faces of Hong Kong’s protesters, with helmets, goggles and gas masks.

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“Hong Kong citizens have a chance of preserving [their] freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly only if they are backed by us in the West,” Galschiot said in a statement. “I have talked to activists of the pro-democracy movement and I know moral support is crucial to them.”

Three Pillar of Shame sculptures are permanently erected in Hong Kong, Acteal in Mexico, and Brasilia in Brazil, “to remind people of a shameful event which must never recur”. The one in the city has been installed at the University of Hong Kong.

A ceremony will be held on January 23 to mark the erection of the sculpture, and Hong Kong activists living in Denmark are expected to show up.

The sculpture will remain outside the Folketinget, or the Danish parliament, in Copenhagen, for three months. It has been erected in collaboration with a green political party called The Alternative, and Amnesty International’s Denmark branch.

Sculptor Jens Galschiot says Hong Kong’s anti-government protesters need moral support.
Photo: Handout

The Hong Kong government has repeatedly said safeguarding human rights and freedoms in the city is its constitutional duty.

The government said police would not have used any force on the protesters if they expressed their views in a peaceful manner.

Uffe Elbaek, a leader of The Alternative, said in a statement: “We support this [movement] because the conflict in Hong Kong also tells a story about human rights being under pressure in many places in the world today.”

Trine Christensen, secretary general of Amnesty International, Denmark, said: “It is important for us to show solidarity with the people of Hong Kong who are fighting for the freedom of speech and the right to peaceful assembly.”

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