By ZEN SOO, Associated Press

HONG KONG (AP) — A monument at a Hong Kong university that was the best-known public remembrance of the Tiananmen Square massacre on Chinese soil was removed early Thursday, wiping out the city's last place of public commemoration of the bloody 1989 crackdown.

"Pillar Of Shame" Statue Faces Threats Of Removal At HK University
FILE PHOTO: HONG KONG, CHINA - OCTOBER 15: Two children look at the "Pillar of Shame" statue at the Hong Kong University campus on October 15, 2021 in Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong University demanded that a now-disbanded pro-democracy alliance remove the artwork, an eight-metre tall monument to the Tiananmen Square Massacre by Danish artist Jens Glaschiot, after it has stood on the grounds of the campus for 24 years, local news sources reported. The statue is an iconic art piece, one of several by the artist placed around the world commemorating similar events. (Photo by Louise Delmotte/Getty Images)
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For some at the University of Hong Kong, the move reflected the erosion of the relative freedoms they have enjoyed compared to mainland China.

"Pillar Of Shame" Statue Faces Threats Of Removal At HK University
FILE PHOTO: HONG KONG, CHINA - OCTOBER 15: The "Pillar of Shame" statue stands at the Hong Kong University campus on October 15, 2021 in Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong University demanded that a now-disbanded pro-democracy alliance remove the artwork, an eight-metre tall monument to the Tiananmen Square Massacre by Danish artist Jens Glaschiot, after it has stood on the grounds of the campus for 24 years, local news sources reported. The statue is an iconic art piece, one of several by the artist placed around the world commemorating similar events. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
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The 8-meter (26-foot) -tall Pillar of Shame, which depicts 50 torn and twisted bodies piled on top of each other, was made by Danish sculptor Jens Galschioet to symbolize the lives lost during the military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

"Pillar Of Shame" Statue Faces Threats Of Removal At HK University
FILE PHOTO: HONG KONG, CHINA - OCTOBER 15: The "Pillar of Shame" statue stands at the Hong Kong University campus on October 15, 2021 in Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong University demanded that a now-disbanded pro-democracy alliance remove the artwork, an eight-metre tall monument to the Tiananmen Square Massacre by Danish artist Jens Glaschiot, after it has stood on the grounds of the campus for 24 years, local news sources reported. The statue is an iconic art piece, one of several by the artist placed around the world commemorating similar events. (Photo by Louise Delmotte/Getty Images)
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The university says it had asked that the sculpture be put in storage because it could pose "legal risks."

"Pillar Of Shame" Statue Faces Threats Of Removal At HK University
FILE PHOTO: HONG KONG, CHINA - OCTOBER 15: The "Pillar of Shame" statue stands at dawn at the Hong Kong University campus on October 15, 2021 in Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong University demanded that a now-disbanded pro-democracy alliance remove the artwork, an eight-metre tall monument to the Tiananmen Square Massacre by Danish artist Jens Glaschiot, after it has stood on the grounds of the campus for 24 years, local news sources reported. The statue is an iconic art piece, one of several by the artist placed around the world commemorating similar events.(Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
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University Of Hong Kong Remove Pillar Of Shame
FILE PHOTO: HONG KONG, CHINA - DECEMBER 23: Workers remove part of the "Pillar of Shame" a statue by Danish artist Jens Galschiot mourning the victims in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, into a container at University of Hong Kong on December 23, 2021 in Hong Kong, China. The artwork is removed after it has sat at the University of Hong Kong campus since 1997, the year the city was handed back to China. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
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Wreaths Across America Ceremony December 18, 2021

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