Facing dissatisfaction from Kaohsiung City Council, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) yesterday said she would shoulder responsibility for the Kaohsiung City Government's removal of dictator Chiang Kai-shek's (蔣介石) statue from the culture center last Tuesday night.
Chen made the remarks when approached by reporters yesterday for comments on the Kaohsiung City Council's complaints.
"If the councilors would like to blame someone, all city government officials can say it was the mayor's decision [to remove the statue]," said Chen, who is a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES
The city council decided on Monday to convene an impromptu session next Monday and Tuesday to look into whether the city government violated regulations by removing the statues.
The city government will be required to tell the council how it executed the removal, which came after the city government passed a draft bill last Tuesday morning allowing it to rename the city's Chiang Kai-shek Culture Center and remove symbols of Chiang.
The statue was taken apart and shipped in 79 pieces to the Chiang Kai-shek Statue Park in Tashi (
Kaohsiung City Council Speaker Chuang Chi-wang (
Chen yesterday said she was hoping to explain the decision-making process to the council, because it was difficult to deal with historical legacy.
In related news, DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (
Gao presented an English-language book, Tyrants: History's 100 Most Evil Despots & Dictators, published in 2004, and said that Chiang was listed in the book along with Fascist dictators Benito Mussolini of Italy and Adolf Hitler of Germany.
Gao said this demonstrated that "from the perspective of foreign academics, Chiang, Mussolini and Hitler were equally cruel."
"Academics do not have any personal bias when doing research on history. This therefore shows that Chiang was purely and simply a despot," Gao said.
The book was written by Nigel Cawthorne, a long-time writer and editor with a bachelor's degree in physics from the University College, London.
Other despots listed in the book are Alexander the Great and Peter the Great of Russia.
Cawthorne's resume on his official Web site says his writing topics range widely and include skiing, computing, finance, fashion, sex, war and politics.
Cawthorne writes, however: "I am certainly most famous for my Sex Lives series."
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