TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A 70-year-old statue of the late Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) broke into three parts during attempts by the authorities to remove it from the station plaza in the port city of Keelung, reports said Wednesday (March 3).
Over the past few years, the once-omnipresent statues of the late dictator have been attacked by activists or removed to a park in Taoyuan, which will also be the fate of the Keelung effigy, CNA reported.
The eventful day started with three suspects recorded by surveillance cameras approaching the statue around 3:50 a.m. They reportedly daubed it with orange paint and wrote the Chinese characters for “Taiwan,” “build a nation,” and “realize justice.”
After the removal started one hour late due to traffic jams, workers found fissures in the statue and stronger than expected resistance due to the steel and concrete reinforcement in its pedestal.
The problem led to several changes of machinery, ruptured cables, and the statue being ripped into two pieces, followed by the head and the torso falling apart. A local company will have to cut away the steel from the pedestal before the remainder of the statue can be moved to Taoyuan, where it will be reassembled, CNA reported.