Pillar of Shame in Hongkong by Jens Galschiøt
I hereby send a summary of my statements in Hong Kong over the last few days
I am working on finding a law firm in Hong Kong that can represent me to Hong Kong universities around the relocation of the monument. I expect I managed to stop the move.
I am in a completely absurd situation that I am in the process of finding a suitable lawyer who can represent me in Hong Kong. Alberth Ho (former member of the HK parliament and leader of the hk the alliance) that I usually use is in jail due to the new Chinese security legislation.
Call for pressure on Mayer Brown
Law firm Mayer Brown, which has written letters to the Hong Kong Alliance demanding relocation, is a very large US-based firm with 26 branches around the world.
This at the behest of Hong Kong universities of course and it makes the short deadline brutal and almost criminal. It's the kind of methods that an Italian mafia boss will use in Europe and is not worthy of an official school or government.
Encouragement: I think the company should withdraw from the case. I would urge anyone who supports human rights, the arts and the Chinese right to remember their own story take action on social media and directly to Mayer Brown to make them aware of what they are doing.
Morally reprehensible: I believe that Mayer Brown is morally and ethically responsible for helping to destroy the only mark of remembrance of the Tiananmen peace plan that exists on Chinese territory. Already after World War II, it was decided: that those who helped carry out abuses against the people were as responsible as those who committed the act itself - an American law firm should know that.
Their participation in this act that goes against all American values will make waves far into the official circles of the United States. And presumably to destroy and cause lasting damage to Mayer Brown images.
The pressure has begun: I know that there are already people and groups in the United States who have begun to push the company hard to get them to withdraw from representing Hong Kong University in this matter. I hope this will spread around the world. .
The relocation of the sculpture and commentary on the value and Mayer Brown's letterI
I Have just answered 2 questions for the media
1. whether I had contact with the Hong Kong Alliance about the moving of the sculpture
I have not spoken to the Hong Kong Alliance on this subject, but I can understand that they are in a rather impossible situation because their organization is disbanding and their leaders are in prison. This at Hong Kong universities of course and it makes the short deadline brutal and almost criminal. It's the kind of methods that an Italian mafia boss will use in Europe and is not worthy of an official school or government.
It will take many months to prepare for a move and find a possible new place and may the sculpture which is the memorial around Tiananmen Square crackdown. Is it allowed to be erected in Hong Kong or is it banned? After all, there are also a lot of legal assessments that need to be made before the sculpture can be moved
2. About what is the value of the 9 meter high sculpture?
This is a work of art that is very well known around the world and that makes it very difficult to assess the price. This particular Hong Kong sculpture has a very sensational history that will be lost if I make a new sculpture so it makes it invaluable.
It took about 3 years of work for me and 3 sculptor assistants to make the sculpture, so I would estimate that a new one will cost around 1.2 million euros today. So that will be the starting point for a possible replacement, but I do not know how expensive it will be if you put the history of works of art into the price (provenance)
Who owns the sculpture?
I want to emphasize that all sculptures that is exhibited abroad and for which there is no purchase contract and which is not paid for, it belongs to me personally.
In the case of “The Pillar of Shame” I have lent out the sculpture for permanent exhibition in Hong Kong, where it stand as a memorial over the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. It was the agreement that The Alliance and the students at the University of Hong Kong should administer the permanent exhibition together and take on the cost of having the sculpture permanent display at the University of Hong Kong.
It will take a long time to move the sculpture. It is an extremely valuable piece of art, which after 24 years probably is a bit frail. Therefore there is a great possibility that the work of art will suffer irreparable damage if handled by any others than experts in handling art.
If, contrary to expectations, damage to the sculpture should occur, the university risks incurring a claim of compensation for that damage.
Jens Galschiøt – Denmark, 8. of Oct. - 2021
Mobil: +45 40 44 70 58
Phone: +45 66184058
Press releases and open letters - 2022
Press releases and open letters - 2021