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Tainan City to hold vandalists accountable

2014/02/24 23:27:45

Taipei, Feb. 24 (CNA) The Tainan City government on Monday vowed to hold the vandalists accountable who toppled a bronze statue of the nation's founding father Dr. Sun Yat-sen in a public park over the weekend.

"We do not condone any action that defies public authority -- be it in the form of occupying a park or damaging a public property such as a bronze statue, and we will definitely handle the incident in accordance with the law," the city government said in a statement.

A group of pro-independence advocates chained the statue in ropes and pulled it down inside Tang De-jhang Memorial Park Saturday, sparking anger from admirers of the Chinese Revolution leader and protest from the ruling Kuomintang, which was also founded by Sun.

Following a call for calm from the mayor, Lai Ching-te, the previous day, the city government advised all sectors to refrain from aggravating the situation but to look at the issue from a cultural perspective.

Lai is a Democratic Progressive Party politician leading a staunchly pro-independence municipality. He is also seen as a DPP hopeful for running for presidency in 2016.

The city was warning both those advocating to keep Dr. Sun's image in the park and those vadalizing the image because Sun's supporters have occupied the park to keep vandalists from damaging the statue.

The city government now plans to restore the damaged base on which the Sun Yat-sen statue used to stand -- a base which is a "cultural relics" left by the Japanese colonizers.

But the plan will not be carried out until a team of experts has completed its study on what constitutes a "cultural object" that warrants a place inside the park.

(By Yang Sze-jui and S.C. Chang)

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