Links and info 

Statements about exhibition

Media Coverage, March 18-31, 2024

Background Documents 

Participants in exhibitions & debates

Would/could not participate.


  • Jens Galschiøt (artist behind Pillar of Shame and this exhibition) - ph +45 4044 7058

  • Loretta Lau (Curator on exhibition. Director of NGO Dei) - ph +44 7923 951278

  • MEP Kira Marie Peter-Hansen. (Member of EU Parliament, Host of the exhibition)

Digital materials.

Banners files for print, 3D PoS files, Augmented reality 

    Other Links

    EU Exhibits ‘The Pillar of Shame’ at the Parliament

    Debates in Parliament & Presentation of Arts Censored by China 

    March 18th-21st, 2024


    (by Galschiøt no copyright)


    (Credit NGO Dei)

    Hosted by
    MEP Kira Marie Peter-Hansen (DK – Green/EFA) and Jens Galschiøt

    Co-hosted by
    MEPs David Lega (EPP), Thijs Reuten (SD), Isabel Santos (SD), Anna Fotyga (ECR),
    Engin Eroglu (Renew), Reinhard Bütikofer (Greens)


    About the exhibition

    China's influence in Europe is increasing. We witness political pressure and censorship of art and culture. A Million HK$ in reward is offered for the apprehension of deported Hong Kong democracy activists in Europe.

    With the exhibition, we discuss the growing authoritarian influence of China, and Europe's reaction. We spark the debate of Western auction houses in Hong Kong as co-responsible for political art censorship and we invite experts, artists, market representatives and Chinese authorities to make their case.

    By exhibiting the confiscated liberty symbol ‘The Pillar of Shame’ and other ‘forbidden’ art, we send a strong signal to China, that its’ censorship does not apply in Europe.


    Art exhibition in front of the EU Parliament

    • The Pillar of Shame. World-known confiscated memorial from Hong Kong and an icon of China's takeover.
    • Exhibition with Forbidden art. Condemned as subversive by China and Hong Kong. Curated by Loretta Lau (NGO Dei) - scroll down to see the exhibition.
    • 3D printer producing small Pillars of Shames.


    March 19th, 12.00 – 14.00: Grand Opening (see opening part 1 and part 2)

    • Performance of ‘Glory to Hong Kong’. A protest anthem that Hong Kong has tried to ban.
    • Speeches by MEP Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Curator Loretta Lau, Artist Jens Galschiøt, Hong Kong activist Simon Cheng, MEP Isabel Santos (SD), MEP Anna Fotyga (ECR).

      Debates in the EU Parliament

      Human Rights violations, Chinese Censorship and infiltration in EU (See debate)

        • China Extensive Human Rights violations – an overview.
        • Hong Kong’s Democratic Derailment.
        • Persecution of Dissidents inside Europe.
        • China's censorship inside Europe.
          Participants: Moderator: MEP Kira Marie Peter-Hansen,  Zhou Fengsuo (President of Humanitarian China), Simon Cheng (Hong Kong exiled pro-democracy activist), Iverson Ng - (Junior Research Fellow), Megan Khoo (Research and Policy Advisor at Hong Kong Watch) – Sarah Brooks (China Director, Amnesty International), MEP Thijs Reuten (SD, NL), MEP Isabel Santos (SD PT), MEP Anna Fotyga (ECR). China’s ambassador in Belgium ­did not wish to participate.

      Hong Kong’s Art Censorship, Western Responsibility, Collapse of the Art Market. (See debate)

          • Political Art Censorship in China and Hong Kong as a way of oppression.
            • Firsthand accounts by artists LumliLumlong.
          • What role do Western Auction Houses play in political art censorship in Hong Kong?
          • Can the Western Art Market accept that its auction houses perform political art censorship in Hong Kong?
          • Is Hong Kong’s Art Market about to Collapse? If so, will it create a Domino Effect?
            Participants: Moderator: Samuel Chu (President of The Campaign for Hong Kong). Eric Wear (International Association of Art Critics (AICA)). Nik Williams (Index on Censorship), Lumli Lumlong (exiled Hong Kong artist-painter duo). Sotherby Auction Houses may come, Art Basel. was invited but could not attend - they sent a statment (see text bellow). The Auction Houses Bonhams, Phillips and Christies were officially invited by MEP Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, but chose not to reply.


      The Pillar of Shame – from Tiananmen Memorial to Symbol for Freedom. (See debate)

        • Artist Jens Galschiøt talks about the turbulent and dramatic story of his sculpture ‘The Pillar of Shame’. From the initial exhibition at HK University to its’ removal by Hong Kong’s authorities and on to its’ digital afterlife as 3D-prints, banner-lithographs and symbols against China’s takeover.
        • Participants: Artist Jens Galschiøt, MEP David Lega (EPP).


      China Mission to the EU - Response to the exhibition

      March 18, 2024

      Dear MEP Kira Marie PETER-HANSEN,

      I have just learned that you will be holding an exhibition on Hong Kong outside the European Parliament, and I would like to take this opportunity to express my concern and provide you with some background knowledge. 


      The works to be exhibited was made by an anti-China artist who has long been smearing and attacking the Chinese system. The "Pillar of Shame" is a work of hostility towards China, made with ill intentions. It is not an art work in real sense, and its prototype was already demolished in 2021 in response to a petition signed by Hong Kong citizens. In this context, holding such an exhibition runs counter to the original mission of MEPs to promote friendly exchanges between China and the EU. It will also damage the image of yourself and the European Parliament in the eyes of 1.4 billion Chinese people. 


      The fact is that Hong Kong, during its British colonial rule for more than 150 years, had no democracy at all. The British directly appointed the Governor to govern Hong Kong on behalf of the United Kingdom, with overall executive and legislative powers. Ever since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the Chinese government has followed the principle of “one country, two systems”, and “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong”. The enactment of the National Security Law (NSL) in Hong Kong has provided a solid guarantee for the development of democracy in Hong Kong. 


      Since NSL’s implementation in the last three years, Hong Kong society has been back on the right track, restoring law and order, as well as prosperity. While preventing and punishing acts endangering national security in accordance with the law, the government effectively protects the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong citizens. The principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” has taken root, and people are focused on seeking development and making new progress.


      Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs. We welcome all opinions and suggestions that are conducive to Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. But we firmly oppose external interference in the name of democracy. I call on you to respect China's sovereignty and the feelings of the Chinese people as an MEP, and learn more about the prosperity and development of Hong Kong since its return, so as to see things more comprehensively and objectively. I encourage you to promote China-EU friendship and the sound and steady development of our relations. Let me say that you are welcome to visit Hong Kong at your convenience. And I am sure you will see a different Hong Kong.


      With regards


      Ms. Yue Yanghua

      Minister Counselor of China Mission to the EU


      Embassy of China in Belgium - Response to invitation

      Dear Ms. Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Mr. Jens Galschiøt,

      Since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, the Chinese Government has fully, faithfully and resolutely implemented the principles of One Country, Two Systems and Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy. One Country, Two Systems has been a success in Hong Kong, which is widely recognized. With the implementation of the National Security Law, the rule of law and business environment in Hong Kong has been improved, and the society more stable and united. Hong Kong has moved toward greater stability and prosperity with stronger vigor and vitality. The lawful rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents, such as the freedom of speech, press and association, have been better protected in a safer environment.

      Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs, which brooks no external interference. China remains firmly resolved in safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty, security and development interests, in implementing One Country, Two Systems, and in opposing interference in Hong Kong affairs by any external forces. The so-called exhibition and debate are nothing but political maneuvering to grossly interfere in China’s domestic affairs under the pretext of democracy and human rights. The Chinese Embassy thus expresses its firm opposition and condemnation.

      If someone truly cares about democracy and human rights, he/she will not turn a blind eye to the riots and violence happened in Hong Kong, will not fete those who are opposed to China and attempt to destabilize Hong Kong, and will not gnash teeth about Hong Kong restoring order. We urge the relevant people to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and do more things that will contribute to mutual understanding and cooperation between China and the EU.

      Embassy of China in Belgium


      Statment of Art Basel March 19, 2024

      Dear Kira Marie Peter-Hansen and Jens Galschiøt,


      Thank you for your note and please excuse the delay in coming back to you. Please find below a statement from Art Basel in response to your question. Should you wish to allude to this statement during your event, we kindly ask that it is read out in full, to ensure our views are accurately represented.


      Statement from Art Basel:


      "Art Basel Hong Kong plays a vital role for galleries, collectors, institutions and the broader arts ecosystem in the city and the wider region. The Hong Kong art scene has grown exponentially since our arrival in 2013 – from the opening of new museums such as M+ to a vibrant mixture of commercial and non-profit galleries, auction houses and artist-run spaces – and our show has become a focal point for the city's arts community. Today, Hong Kong has an unrivalled position as a cultural hub in the heart of Asia, with a strong local arts scene and a general public with a keen and growing interest in the arts.


      We have never faced any censorship issues at our shows, nor have we been asked to do anything differently since the introduction of the National Security Law. As with all Art Basel shows, our Selection Committee is responsible for reviewing applications and selects galleries solely based on the quality of their booth proposal.


      We are committed to Hong Kong's vibrant cultural community, and to continuing to provide a platform for the vital exchanges and conversations around art for which Art Basel is renowned."


      Thank you again for extending an invitation to Art Basel.


      With our very best regards,


      Maria Marques

      Global Head of Content and Communications, Art Basel 


      REALITY CHECK on Art Basel.

      If you've read the statement above, please follow up with a reality check iin this Guardian Article


      The Forbidden art
      18 art pieces deemed Subversive by China and Hong Kong. Curated by Loretta Lau (NGO Dei)