"History of the Pillar of Shame"
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History of

The Pillar of Shame

The first Pillar of Shame was presented to the world public in November 1996. Exhibited on the NGO Forum of the FAO summit in Rome, Italy, the sculpture became a sort of symbol of the conference.

Debut in Hong Kong

On 4th June ‘97 55,000 people gathered in Victoria Park in Hong Kong for a solemn candlelight vigil to commemorate the bloodshed 1989 in Beijing. The Pillar of Shame was displayed as the focal point of the ceremony. Hereafter it was displayed in turn on all the seven universities in Hong Kong until 4th June ‘98 when the Pillar once again took centre stage at the ceremony in Victoria Park.

Overt Accusation

Setting up the Pillar ahead of the hand-over on 1st July, is a way of placing the sculpture on Chinese territory. Expressing an overt accusation of the old men’s regime in Beijing, it functions as a litmus test of the authorities’ vow to respect human rights and free speech in Hong Kong.

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