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Hong Kong’s Tiananmen Massacre statue removed in night-time operation

The eight-meter-tall monument, known as Pillar of Shame, installed in memory of victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Hong Kong, was removed during a night-time operation by local authorities.

The statue figuring victims' faces and created by Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot stood inside the University of Hong Kong (HKU) since 1997.

According to a statement issued by HKU Council on Thursday, the decision to remove the structure from campus was made on Wednesday.

Authorities began preparing to remove the statue around 11 p.m. (1500 GMT) on Wednesday, and a big crane finally removed the structure around 4 a.m. Thursday (2000GMT Wednesday).

Barriers were erected around the statue's location, and all views were barred in order to prevent any photos or videos of the statue's displacement.

The HKU Council claimed that no one had “ever obtained any approval from the university to display the statue on campus, and the university has the right to take appropriate actions to handle it at any time.”

The 1989 student-led protests started on April 15 and were forcibly suppressed on June 4 when the Chinese government sent the military to seize control of Tiananmen Square. Nearly 300 people were killed and 7,000 injured, including soldiers.


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