Landlords ask kids fashion store to remove protester statue

A shop owner in Hong Kong is refusing an order to remove a life-sized statue of a female anti-government protester from one of his stores.

Herbert Chow has been told by landlords at a location of one of his Chickeeduck children's clothing shops that the figure must be taken down.

But the "Lady Liberty" statue has been popular with shoppers amid an informal boycott of pro-Chinese businesses.

Demonstrations in the former British territory began last year in response to an extradition law planned by Beijing, but the unrest soon morphed into a larger vehicle for anti-China and pro-democracy sentiment.

The Chickeeduck store's white statue was installed on Tuesday and shows a demonstrator wearing a helmet, gas mask and goggles. In one hand she carries an umbrella - a symbol of mass protests in 2014 - and in the other a flag that reads: "Free Hong Kong, revolution now."

In a letter verified by reporters, the mall's managing company said a clause in the contract specified that any unlicensed "exhibition" could break both the law and the tenancy agreement.

The shop's 56-year-old owner, however, has said he "will not remove it".

"The revolution that we need now is the persistent fight for... the freedom of speech, press, expression and creativity, and not to have to put up with anything that you think is unjust," Mr Chow told reporters.

He is due to meet the mall's owners on Friday to discuss an extension to his lease, which ends this month.

Activists and protesters in Hong Kong have been supporting so-called "yellow" businesses, which have supported the pro-democracy movement.

(Photo by Sunny Mok/EYEPRESS)

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