Political rights

Political rights group seeks ‘Pillar of Shame’ vandal

  • By Chen Yu-fu / Staff Reporter

The New School for Democracy said yesterday it would hold the person who vandalized a replica of the Pillar of Shame sculpture accountable and demand an apology.

The original sculpture, created by Danish artist Jens Galschiot, sat at the University of Hong Kong for 23 years before authorities tore it down on December 22 for allegedly breaking Hong Kong’s national security law. .

With the artist’s approval, a replica was made and unveiled at a memorial in Taipei for the 33rd anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen Square massacre. It is now part of an exhibit organized by the New School for Democracy in remembrance of the 1989 democratic uprising in China.

Photo courtesy of New School for Democracy

At 8.55am yesterday black paint was found sprayed on the pillar. After reviewing surveillance footage in the Chiang Kai-shek memorial, the Taipei City Police Department’s Zhongheng First Police Station identified and arrested a suspect.

New School for Democracy President Tseng Chien-yuan (曾建元) said that previous Tiananmen Square commemorative events had been disrupted by similar incidents, adding that a mentally handicapped person had already been ordered to knock over a work of art on display.

Yesterday’s incident was meant to warn Taiwanese that they should not discuss the incident, Tseng said, adding that “if they succeed in silencing Taiwanese, they could silence Chinese people around the world. “.

The political rights group said in a statement that it condemned all forms of violence, from the massacre in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, to the destruction of the Pillar of Shame last year in Hong Kong or the defacement of the 3D printed replica of the Pillar of Shame in Taipei, and would never compromise on the matter.

“We will insist on pursuing the legal and political responsibility of the perpetrator and his accomplices, and will demand an apology,” he said.

“The act of vandalism not only destroys the artwork, but also supports all atrocities and crimes against humanity. It also challenges Taiwan’s constitutional order which guarantees creativity, freedom of thought and freedom meeting,” he added.

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