TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taitung Airport removed a statue of late President Chiang Kai-shek from a park at the request of the Transitional Justice Commission, reports said Saturday (June 15).
The commission, which was set up as an independent government body last year, has as its mission to investigate the period of authoritarian Kuomintang rule, while also removing symbols of that period. Over the past few years, statues of President Chiang have been daubed with paint or otherwise damaged by activists.
At around 11 a.m. Saturday, a tall crane appeared on the parking lot near the airport, also known as Fengnian, according to the Central News Agency. Workers proceeded to tie up the statue and the crane lifted it up from its pedestal.
Airport management said the removal had been effectuated at the request of the Transitional Justice Commission after it had sent a letter asking whether there were any authoritarian symbols on the premises. The airport reported back about the presence of the Chiang statue in the park next to the terminal.
The statue had first been erected shortly after the president’s death in 1975 by the military, who used Fengnian as a backup for their Zhihang Air Force Base, CNA reported.