More June 4 artwork removed from universities

Two more universities on Friday removed artwork commemorating June 4, a day after the University of Hong Kong removed the Pillar of Shame sculpture from campus.

The Goddess of Democracy statue at Chinese University was taken down overnight, as was a large wall sculpture at Lingnan University.

Chinese University released a statement stressing that its Administrative and Planning Committee had unanimously rejected a request in 2010 to put up the statue.

“The University never authorised the display of the statue on its campus, and no organisation has claimed responsibility for its maintenance and management,” it said.

It further noted that both groups that had put up the statue in the first place were no longer in operation, as the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China has now been dissolved, and the university’s own student union is “effectively dysfunctional.”

“Following an internal assessment, and as the manager of the university campus, CUHK has removed the statue,” the statement said.

Shatin district councillor Felix Chow – who’s also a postgraduate student at the university – said management needs to give a better explanation of why it took down the statue.

“I’m shocked at this situation. After all, the statue has been here for some time. That such an important sculpture that’s loaded with symbolism can vanish overnight – I feel extremely shocked,” he said.

Lingnan University, meanwhile, said it tore down the relief to “protect the overall interest of the university community” after a recent assessment.

The removals come on the heels of a similar move by the University of Hong Kong, which took down its Pillar of Shame sculpture in the early hours of Thursday morning, citing legal and safety risks.