•    Dec. 1st: Invitation to London exhibition opening, and debates on Dec. 2nd.
•    100 new banner lithographs &
event in San Fransico.
•    Pillar of Shame Planned for EU Parliament in March,
De Haag in May and London on June 4th.
•    Will
Art Basel Hong Kong exhibit the Pillar of Shame?!
•    A fruitful visit to Taiwan
Left to right: Galschiøt and Artist Kacey Wong│Lennon Wall - Taiwan │New Pillar LithographLondon Exhibition
Dear ,
First of all, I am excited to invite You to the London art exhibition ‘Canvas of Courage’. Artvocate.co and Amnesty International exhibition shows activist art in support of human rights across East Asia. I will be there presenting a 4½meter model of the Pillar of Shame and participating in debates on Dec.1st - 2nd. I hope to see You there!
Apart from that, I have a thousand things cooking at my art space in Denmark. In Denmark an artistic outcry and a heated debate, over a new law against burning Qurans, which would effectively criminalize a number of Danish art pieces (including several of mine) ended with the Danish government changing the law. Amongst other things, the law now focuses specifially on 'important religious scriptures' and points out the right to express artistic freedom. Thus it will still be illegal to burn Qurans, but now it will not criminalize a lot of other activities. I am happy that for the adjustment of the law, but I get worried about the hundreds of laws that are implemented uncritically, because they dont get the same public attention.

I had a quite interesting visit to Taiwan in October. I was invited by New School of Democracy (NSD), who has made the worlds largest Pillar of Shame 3D print. It is exhibited yearly on the prominent Liberty Square on June 4th to commemorate the Tiananmen Massacre. NSD also introduced me and my team to their amazing work for democracy in a country that is still fighting with a lot of demons from a not too distant dictatorial past, as well as the ever present threat from China.
The Banner Lithographs are continuously being used by activists around the world. Latest, Hong Kong Democratic Council got 6 banners for protests in San Francisco during Xi Jinping's visit. We have nearly distributed the 246 lithographs we printed, so we have started making 100 new ones in a different design.

Pillar of Shame Exhibitions. On the exhibition front we are looking into quite an exciting year.
  • EU Parliament: Member of The EU Parliament Kira Marie Peter-Hansen is preparing to exhibit the Pillar of Shame in front of the EU Parliament on March 18-21. Much more about that, once the exhibition is confirmed.
  • On May 23-25 in De Hague (NL). Here we exhibit a Pillar of Shame model at the "ImagiNation: Hong Kong in Exile" Symposium arranged by Art & Culture Hong Kong.
  • June 4th, London: Finally Amnesty International, Hong Kong Watch, myself and other parties are arranging the 35th anniversary memorial of the Tiananmen Massacre, on June 4th, in which we plan to exhibit the Pillar of Shame in front of the Chinese Embassy in London, and elsewhere.
  • Pillar of Shame to Art Basel? Could be... NGO Dei has made an official request to Art Basel, encouraging the prestigious venue to exhibit the sculpture as show their support of freedom of expression. Asking NGO Dei, they have not yet received an answer. And frankly it is doubtful that Art Basel would risk angering the Chinese market by upholding such values as artistic freedom and freedom of speech. But maybe they will surprise us.      

Sincerely Yours,
Jens Galschiøt
Denmark's New Law Against Burning Qurans
- Risk of Art Censorship
By Camilla Binau (intern)
In Denmark, there is currently a widespread debate about the consequences of a new law, which prohibits the burning of Qurans, if it comes into effect. The proposed legislation criminalizes "improper treatment of objects of significant religious importance to a faith community", a definition that both ordinary citizens and various experts are trying to interpret these days.
At the gallery, our own Jens Galschiøt has been participating in discussions in newspapers, TV and radio, about whether the new law has a censoring effect on the art scene in Denmark. Jens states that many artists probably won't self-censor due to the legislation, but many art institutions will opt out of works that challenge the law. Thereby contributing to political art censorship.
It remains unclear how artists should interpret the new proposal - what can an artist permit themselves? And what is the punishment for crossing the line?
This is especially relevant for Jens Galschiøt, who has had to reconsider previous artworks and their place in society if the new legislation comes into effect. He brought a smaller version of his sculpture 'In the Name of God (2007)' of a crucified teenager to a TV debate and it was subsequently taken to the parliament where a journalist confronted the country's parliamentarians with the question "Should this be banned?".
The question was either avoided or answered with "I hope not", and this uncertainty is part of the issue that Galschiot addresses. It's difficult to draft legislation of this nature, that prevents wrongful mockery of religious minorities, while protecting artists' rights to produce art that provokes, questions religion, or simply uses religious iconography.
Spartacus Alley
Meanwhile, Galschiot is working on the project "Who is the Samaritan?", which might also become problematic in light of the Quran law. "Who is the Samaritan?" is an art installation that will consist of an alley of 10 individual crosses, each five meters tall, each mounted with a decomposing crucified person. On each cross, there will be a label with the crucified person's nationality, e.g., the Egyptian, the Burmese, etc. The idea is for the piece to represent an alternative version of the historical "Spartacus alley", which was an alley of crucified rebels. Spartacus led a rebellion against the Roman Empire in 73 BC, which some sources say aimed to abolish slavery. The revolt was not a success, and it was these people who ended up on the crosses. "Who is the Samaritan?" aims to shed light on the lost democratic fights, e.g., in Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan. The artwork also draws connections to the West. Many of those who lost the battle for democracy and human rights in their homeland are persecuted by their regime. But when they try to flee, the West closes its borders and its eyes, letting the refugees drown in the Mediterranean Sea.
Background - The monument in Hong Kong
In 1997, I erected an 8 meters tall monument in Hong Kong in memorial of the massacre. This monument is so far still the only memorial about the Tiananmen Square massacre on Chinese soil. It's important that artists, cultural groups, and others that defend human rights use their freedom of speech to tell the story of the massacre. I hope that you will help in doing this. 
32 years after the massacre, history seems to be tragically repeating itself. Now with Hong Kong as the epicenter for youth demanding their basic Human Rights and the Chinese Government forcefully taking down the youth. China has passed landmark legislation to force national security laws in Hong Kong, effectively crushing the city's autonomy, removing pro-democratic forces from the parliament and sending pro-democrats in jail.
China’s supression of free speech is spreading to Hong Kong. Galschiot is just one of many critics who have been denied entry. So the city is deprived of a cultural exchange that is taken for granted in all open democratic societies. The expulsions are a blatant violation of the principle of ‘One country – Two systems’ that was guaranteed as part of Hong Kong’s reunion with China in ‘97.
Throughout 2019 and 2020 massive demonstrations in Hong Kong took place. They fought for the basic human rights that China promised Hong Kong's citizens when they took over the country in 1997, But the peaceful demonstrations have been met with comprehensive violent force from Hong Kong's police.
Today, China has passed landmark legislation to force national security laws in Hong Kong, effectively crushing the city's autonomy, removing pro-democratic forces from the parliament and sending pro-democrats in jail.
A functioning democracy on Chinese ground, even though only in Hong Kong, has been an extremely important symbol for the more than one billion living in mainland China. With the new security law, this symbol is gone.
The Pillar of Shame was taken down by university of Hong Kong on Dec. 22nd, 2021. It was done in the cover of night, without any information to the sculptures rightful owner, Jens Galschiøt. The sculpture was locked in a container for 1½ years. Dialogue with University of Hong Kong to get access to it was to no avail.
On May 5th, 2023 Hong Kong Police seized the Pillar of Shame (of course without notifying Jens Galschiøt) to use it as evidence against the Democracy Movement.
An arrest warrent for Jens Galschiøt by Hong Kongs authorities was reported by Sing Tao Daily, On August 4th, 2023, with the intension of transferring him to mainland China.
Useful links
Download the documents about Tiananmen 1989
Contact Jens Galschiot: E-mail: aidoh@aidoh.dk, Internet: www.aidoh.dk, tel. +45 6618 4058, Banevaenget 22, DK-5270 Odense N
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About Jens Galschiøt
Danish artist Jens Galschiøt has created many socio-critical sculptures and installations through the years. Most often they are placed in public spaces around the world – as needle-sticks and silent reminders of a world that, in his opinion, is out of balance, and where exploitation of the world’s resources, inequality and migration are a constant part of the picture.
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9 meter tall banner litographs
Galschiot and former prime minister and Nato General Secretary Anders Fogh
Jens Galachiøt and people from China's democracy movement


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