Answer soon on entry for pillar's sculptor

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 April, 2009, 12:00am

The secretary for security is expected to indicate whether Pillar of Shame sculptor Jens Galschiot will be allowed into Hong Kong to take part in June 4 commemoration events.

However, there would be no clarification regarding exiled dissident Wang Dan, a legislator said.

The Pillar of Shame, which Galschiot made to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1997, is on permanent display at the University of Hong Kong but has suffered damage, apparently due to wear and tear.

Lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan, vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, yesterday said he had spoken to Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong on the sidelines at the Legislative Council last week.

He said the security chief had promised to give a response on Galschiot's situation within a month but said he would not be able to comment on Dr Wang's prospects.

'We are not optimistic of Wang Dan's chances,' the lawmaker said. Dr Wang is in exile in Britain.

Galschiot was refused entry last April ahead of the Olympic torch relay leg in Hong Kong.

He had arrived to guide the painting of The Pillar of Shame in orange, a colour chosen to remind Beijing of its commitments to human rights as host of the Olympics.

Meanwhile, veteran democracy activist Szeto Wah arrived in San Francisco yesterday to begin a North American tour to encourage greater commemoration of events by the Chinese community.

Also, a handful of protesters from lawmaker 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung's April 5th Action Group demonstrated outside the central government's liaison office to commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen incident, triggered by the death of premier Zhou Enlai earlier that year.