Goddess of Democracy

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese protest around a 10-meter replica of the Statue of Liberty they called the Goddess of Democracy
Hundreds of thousands of Chinese protest around a 10-meter replica of the Statue of Liberty they called the Goddess of Democracy

Historical Context

Built by students from Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts for the protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989, the statue was constructed out of foam and papier-mâché over a steel frame. Installed in the square on the 30th May the figure became a powerful symbol for the Democracy movement occupying the square.

Although comparisons are often drawn to New York's Statue of Liberty, the sculptors say the work of Soviet sculptor Vera Mukhina was the actual inspiration.

The Statue was famously toppled by tanks when the Chinese government ordered Tiananmen square forcibly cleared on the 4th June. Its destruction was captured by cameras and watched worldwide. The statue has been called one of the world's first viral images and a number of replicas have been built around the world since, including in Hong Kong to mark the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Photo Info


Location taken: Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China

Related Events

  • 1989-05-29 Student pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, China construct a replica of the Statue of Liberty, naming it the Goddess of Democracy
  • 1989-06-02 10,000 Chinese soldiers are blocked by 100,000 citizens in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, protecting students demonstrating for democracy

Historical Photos