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The University of Hong Kong says a statue paying tribute to the victims of China’s brutal 1989 crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square should be removed.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of China’s Patriotic Democratic Movements, the now-disbanded group that designed the artwork, said they received a letter from the university asking for the statue to be removed at 5 p.m. the following Wednesday, According to Hong Kong Free Press.


university Allegedly Said the decision was “based on the latest risk assessment and legal advice”, but did not provide further explanation.

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If the 26-foot-tall statue known as the “Pillars of Shame” is not removed by that time, the letter says, “the statue will be deemed abandoned and the University will consider any future requests from you regarding the sculpture.” , and the University shall deal with the sculpture at such time and in such manner as it may deem fit without any notice.”

The group in charge of the sculpture said the request was unreasonable and that it was vital to the school’s “social mission and historical responsibility” to keep the statue.

The Tiananmen Square massacre occurred on 4 June 1989 and ended months of student-led demonstrations in communist China. It is believed that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of protesters were killed during the violent action of the People’s Liberation Army.

The genocide remains a contentious topic in China as Beijing cracks down on all challenges to its sovereignty and tightens its grip on Hong Kong.