Goddess of Democracy
Please email examples of other Godesses of Democracy to geovisual @ comcast.net. Thank you.
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5th century - "Goddess of Democracy," Athens (Greece). "In the fifth century, Peitho had developed into a civic goddess of democracy, a symbol of the transition to rule by popular consent & consensus, achieved by debate & persuasion. Her political stature was reflected in the Athenian theater. '"The unique character of Attic poetry,' C.M. Bowra wrote, came 'from the Athenian democracy itself. Tragedy was performed with religious solemnity...before a vast, critical amazingly intelligent audience. Such a performance was, in every sense a public event. In their personification of Peitho as a civic goddess of Persuasion, the Athenians recast not only their religion but their mythology & history to suit the ideas of fifth-century democracy. They even claimed according to that most famous of ancient travelers, Pausanias, that the cult of Persuasion was first instituted by Theseus, the mythical first king of Athens. This venerable genealogy was, of course, quite unhistorical.'"
May 30-June 4, 1989 - "Goddess of Democracy," Tinanamen Square, Beijing (China). "During the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989, Chinese student demonstrators in Beijing built a 10 m image called the Goddess of Democracy, which sculptor Tsao Tsing-yuan said was intentionally dissimilar to the Statue of Liberty to avoid being 'too openly pro-American.'" "Constructed in only four days out of foam & papier-mâché over a metal armature. The constructors decided to make the statue as large as possible so the government would be unable to dismantle it. The government would either have to destroy the statue - an action which would potentially fuel further criticism of its policies - or leave it standing... The toppling of the Goddess was seen by millions across the world on television: 'Pushed by a tank, it fell forward & to the right, so that its hands & the torch struck the ground first, breaking off.' As the statue fell, protestors shouted 'Down with Fascism!' & 'Bandits! Bandits!' It was 'quickly and easily reduced to rubble, mixing with all the other rubble in the Square. To be cleared away by the Army.'"
1989 - "Goddess of Democracy," in front of Chinese Embassy, Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC (USA). A pain in the side of the embassy (which is a former hotel housing many if not most of the embassy staff), this temporary statue was finally removed.
1991 - "Goddess of Democracy," SUB Plaza, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). Based on the replica in San Francisco.
1992-August 2011 - "Goddess of Democracy," foyer of the Student Centre, Keele Campus, York University, Toronto, Ontario (Canada). Removed in August 2011. "A York administrator said the statue was in a state of disrepair and the board of the student centre decided to remove it and replace it with a permanent plaque. 'The materials used in its construction have exceeded their life expectancy...the maltreatment by the general population on campus has taken its toll on the general esthetics of the statue,' wrote Scott Jarvis, the centre’s executive director. 'The holes in the exterior cladding allowed for debris to be put inside the cavity leading to health and safety concerns.' Cheuk Kwan said the Chinese community feels a memorial plaque will not have the same meaning as the goddess & has offered to donate a bronze replica to be placed in the same spot as the old statue."
1994 - "Goddess of Democracy," Portsmouth Square, Chinatown, San Francisco, California (USA). "Begun in 1989, dedicated in 1994, by Thomas Marsh, leading a group of volunteers. It weighs approximately 600 pounds (272 kg)."
September 27, 1995 - "Goddess of Democracy," University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta (Canada). "An unknown artist's fiberglass copy was erected at the University of Calgary in 1995, commemorating [Chinese]students who died in the uprisings six years earlier." Date? - "Goddess of Democracy," (Taiwan).
1999 - "Goddess of Democracy," Freedom Park, Arlington, Virginia (USA). "A replica of the San Francisco statue was erected in an outdoor museum in Freedom Park to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the protests."
June 12, 2007 - "Goddess of Democracy," Victims of Communism Memorial, Washington, DC (USA). "A tribute to more than 100 million people who died as a result of revolutions, wars & atrocities committed by various communist regimes." Modeled on the 10-meter-tall (33 ft) statue created in Beijing (China) during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
2010? - "Goddess of Democracy," piazza of Times Square shopping mall, Hong Kong (China). "Two small-scale replicas were built and set up in Hong Kong in 2010 for the Tiananmen Square protests memorial gatherings, but were confiscated by the Hong Kong Police Force after a public display at Times Square Public Space. It was subsequently returned after due to the serious public opinion pressure, and was displayed at the vigil on June 4, 2010, at Victoria Park. After the candle night memorial gathering, the new 3-meter bronze statue of the Goddess of Democracy was moved to the Chinese University of Hong Kong campus for permanent display at its entrance of University Train Station. The erection of this bronze statue of the Goddess of Democracy was not approved by the university administration but 2000 Chinese university students, staff and alum with many other Hong Kong citizen worked together after the Victoria Park gathering to guard the statue to move to Chinese University campus."