Law Firms

Mayer Brown will no longer seek removal of Tiananmen Square memorial for university client

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AP Hong Kong Tiananmen Sculpture

The “Pillar of Shame” statue is displayed at the University of Hong Kong on Oct. 13. Danish artist Jens Galschiot is seeking to get back his sculpture as a deadline loomed for its removal. Photo by Kin Cheung/The Associated Press.

Mayer Brown will no longer represent the University of Hong Kong in its effort to remove a campus statue memorializing the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

Mayer Brown announced its decision Friday after criticism by human rights and pro-democracy groups, report Bloomberg Law, the Washington Post, and Reuters.

“Going forward, Mayer Brown will not be representing its longtime client in this matter. We have no further comment,” the law firm said in a statement.

Mayer Brown had sent a letter on behalf of the university to a pro-democracy group seeking removal of the “Pillar of Shame” statue by Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot. The sculpture depicts bodies twisted together into a tower to memorialize the killing of protesters at Tiananmen Square.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. According to the Washington Post, the sculpture is the only Tiananmen commemoration still on Chinese soil.

Now, Mayer Brown is facing criticism for dropping the fight over the sculpture, according to Bloomberg Law and In a Facebook post, former Hong Kong chief executive Chun-ying Leung accused Mayer Brown of caving to political pressure.

“From here on, no client in Hong Kong or Mainland China, particularly those with Chinese government connections, will find Mayer Brown dependable,” Leung wrote.

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