Hong Kong police sets conditions for returning the Goddess of Democracy
In a statement last night, a government spokesperson said that the art pieces would be returned "under condition that the police's relevant requirements will be followed".
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said that it would require the Alliance to get insurance and approval from registered engineers to guarantee that any object taller than 1.7 metres on 4 June meets safety standards. The confiscated statues measure several metres.
Alliance activists appear unwilling to accept any political conditions though. For Alliance Deputy Chairman Lee Cheuk-yan, “If the government refuses to release it, then beware: we will surround the North Point police station at 6 pm on June 3 to demand their release.”
In the meantime, in a challenge to police, the Alliance last night displayed a 4.5-metre painting of the Goddess of Democracy in Times Square. Several activists dressed like the statue staged a protest.
The original Goddess of Democracy was a ten-metre statue made of foam and papier-mâché over a metal armature, set up in Tiananmen Square on 30 May 1989. It was destroyed following the crackdown on 4 June.
However, copies of the statue have been used to commemorate that date in Hong Kong ever since.
Activists want the statues seized by police this year to be returned so that they can be displayed in Victoria Park on the eve of the anniversary.