HKU gives deadline for ‘Pillar of Shame’ removal

University of Hong Kong has asked the now-defunct Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China to remove the “Pillar of Shame” sculpture from its campus by 5pm on October 13.

The alliance’s liquidator, Richard Tsoi, said on Friday he’d received a letter from lawyers representing the university that says the alliance should contact the school to make arrangements to remove the sculpture, or it would be deemed abandoned after the deadline.

“If you fail to remove the Sculpture before 5:00 pm on 13 October 2021, the Sculpture will be deemed abandoned and the University will not consider any future request from you in respect of the Sculpture, and the University will deal with the Sculpture at such time and in such manner as it thinks fit without further notice,” the letter says.

Tsoi called the request unreasonable. “As a space with freedom of speech and academic freedom, the HKU has the social responsibility and mission to keep the Pillar of Shame,” he said.

In a letter to the university’s vice-chancellor Zhang Xiang, Tsoi noted that the HKU students’ union voted in 1998 to keep the statue on campus permanently.

The university, for its part, said it made the request “based on the latest risk assessment and legal advice”.

It said it will liaise with various stakeholders to handle the case in a legal and reasonable manner.
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Last updated: 2021-10-08 HKT 19:41