TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A group calling itself the “Taiwan Nation Engineering Team” (台灣國工程隊) claimed responsibility Saturday for the beheading of a statue of late President Chiang Kai-shek near a famous flower clock at Taipei City’s Yangmingshan (陽明山) National Park.
Passersby had found the statue in the morning daubed with red paint and its pedestal covered in Chinese-language graffiti naming the former president as the man responsible for the 228 Incident, the 1947 uprising which was put down at the cost of an estimated 28,000 lives.
Police said the head was missing, but a small saw had been found nearby, while footage from surveillance cameras in the area was being watched to find a suspect. The only cameras in the neighborhood had been posted at intersections, reports said.
However, by the end of the day, a Facebook account holder posting under the name Eestijian Liu put up pictures of two people wearing masks and plastic rain coats removing the statue’s head and holding it in their hands.
A statement from the “Taiwan Nation Engineering Team” said their action was an act of vengeance for the similar beheading last weekend of the statue of Japanese civil engineer Yoichi Hatta (八田與一) at a Tainan park. A former politician and a woman claimed to have attacked the statue of the engineer, who built a dam and a canal during the period of Japanese occupation.
They said Chiang’s head was an offering to Hatta, and they predicted they would continue attacking statues of the late president.
Police said they would summons relevant suspects for questioning. Taipei City Government officials on the other hand said the possibility of restoring the statue would be investigated.