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Danish sculptor seeks legal protection to pick up Tiananmen statue from Hong Kong | Tiananmen Square protests 1989

The Danish sculptor of a statue that commemorates pro-democracy protesters killed throughout China’s Tiananmen Square crackdown has requested Hong Kong authorities for immunity from a nationwide safety regulation so he can take it again to Denmark.

Jens Galschiot loaned the eight-metre excessive, two-tonne copper sculpture referred to as Pillar of Disgrace to a neighborhood civil society group, the Hong Kong Alliance in Help of Patriotic Democratic Actions in China, in perpetuity.

The statue, depicting dozens of torn and twisted our bodies, has been on show on the College of Hong Kong for greater than twenty years. After the alliance disbanded in September with some members accused of nationwide safety offences, the college requested the group take away the statue from its premises.

“I can perceive from the press that the introduction of the brand new safety laws in Hong Kong means that there’s a legal foundation for arresting international nationals who interact in actions that criticise China,” Galschiot wrote in an open letter on Friday.

The statue’s elimination “will lead to actions and media protection that could possibly be perceived as criticism of China. Due to this fact, I’ll have to get a assure that my staff and I can’t be prosecuted.”

Galschiot, who values the statue at round $1.4m, mentioned he was keen to take it again to Denmark, however that his presence in Hong Kong was obligatory for the advanced operation to go nicely.

Cooperation from the college and metropolis authorities for technical help, roadblocks and permits was additionally wanted, he mentioned.

In 2020, Beijing imposed a sweeping nationwide safety regulation in Hong Kong to punish what it sees as subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with international forces.

Jens Galschiot in Denmark
Jens Galschiot in Denmark. {Photograph}: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Photos

The college, the federal government’s Safety Bureau and the immigration division didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The college gave the alliance a deadline for the statue’s elimination, which expired a month in the past. It mentioned on the time it was searching for legal recommendation on what to do with it.

Democratic activists and a few western governments say the safety regulation is a software to silence dissent and put Hong Kong firmly on an authoritarian path. Chinese language and metropolis authorities preserve Hong Kong continues to be ruled by the rule of regulation and particular person rights and freedoms stay intact.

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