A ‘CCP Virus’ sculpture was destroyed by arsonists less than a month after being revealed to the public in Yermo, California, the artist says.
“This was an attack on the American system of free speech and was meant to silence us,” Liberty Sculpture Park, which housed the piece, said on July 24 on Facebook. “We will not be silenced. We will rebuild, loudly and proudly.”
The Liberty Sculpture Park was attacked on July 23 by an arsonist that targeted the park’s newest addition of a ‘CCP Virus’ sculpture by park cofounder Weiming Chen, the artist’s spokesperson Jonas Yuan told The Epoch Times.
Since being unveiled in June, the sculpture has faced multiple failed attempts of vandalism. The park increased its security measures to monitor the artwork after receiving numerous threats.
Despite such precautions, arsonists attacked the site during a time when it was unguarded, Yuan said.
The 6-foot sculpture, made of steel and fiberglass, contained the words “CCP Virus.” The artwork featured a face resembling Xi Jinping, general secretary of the central committee of the Chinese Communist Party. While the right side of the face appeared human, the left side was a skull representing ruthlessness.
Chen said he created the sculpture to remember the global pandemic, while also reminding the world that the CCP kept the initial outbreak of the virus a secret while it spread to different countries.
“The CCP concealed the epidemic and caused the virus to spread around the world,” Chen said in a statement. “The communist totalitarian ideology is the most dangerous virus in the world. … The sources come from the Communist Party. Without the Communist Party, there would be no virus and death.”
The “CCP Virus” sculpture was unveiled at the park on June 4, the anniversary of China’s Tiananmen Square massacre.
The remains of the sculpture are still at the park. While Xi’s face was destroyed, the platform with the words “CCP Virus” remains standing.
Liberty Sculpture Park was built in 2017 by Chen and his colleague in hopes to portray the need for freedom from communist oppression.
Chen is a freedom fighter who fought in the Syrian Civil War on the side of a Free Syrian Army, his spokesperson said. The goal of his art is to bring to light the reality of China’s totalitarian government.
“He’s been fighting communism and totalitarianism for his entire life,” Yuan said.
Remaining in the park are six sculptures that represent the urge for human rights, including a statue called “Tank Man,” which represents a Chinese dissident who stopped a military tank from proceeding forward the day of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
“Tank Man” was built by Chen on the 30th anniversary of June 4 in remembrance of the unnamed man’s bravery in resisting the CCP. The art piece stands in Liberty Park as a representative image to encourage others to stand up against tyranny.
Chen said he anticipates replacing the “CCP Virus” sculpture in the near future.