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Artist Wants Safe Passage in Hong Kong to Remove Sculpture

The "Pillar of Shame" statue, a memorial for those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, is displayed at the University of Hong Kong on Oct. 13, 2021. Danish artist Jens Galschioet, who is seeking to retrieve his sculpture in Hong Kong commemorating the victims of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, said Friday, Nov. 12, he wants safe passage for himself and his employees when they dismantle and remove the artwork, which is at the center of a controversy. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
The "Pillar of Shame" statue, a memorial for those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, is displayed at the University of Hong Kong on Oct. 13, 2021. Danish artist Jens Galschioet, who is seeking to retrieve his sculpture in Hong Kong commemorating the victims of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, said Friday, Nov. 12, he wants safe passage for himself and his employees when they dismantle and remove the artwork, which is at the center of a controversy. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

Copenhagen, Denmark (AP) -- A Danish artist who is seeking to retrieve his sculpture in Hong Kong commemorating the victims of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown said Friday he wants safe passage guaranteed for himself and his employees when they dismantle and remove the artwork called “Pillar of Shame,” which is at the center of a controversy.

In an open letter, Jens Galschioet said that his presence in Hong Kong is “necessary” because the 8-meter-tall (26.25 feet), two-ton sculpture is “very difficult to move ... without causing significant and irreparable damage."