Queen Victoria Statue Hong
Public Art : Queen Victoria statue
Sculptor: © Mario Raggi (1821–1907)
Description: A bronze statue of a seated
older figure of Queen Victoria. In her left hand she holds an orb and cross and in her right a
sceptre. The original statue stood inside a decoratively carved Portland (Dorset, England) stone cupola
and featured ornate Corinthian columns but it was looted by the Japanese in World War II. The statue's right hand
was taken from an actual cast of Queen Victoria’s hand but it was missing (along with her crown) when recovered
from Japan. If you look closely Queen Victoria's nose is crooked and there are random splotches of red paint over
her head thanks to an act of vandalism in 1996.
Date Unveiled: The statue of Queen Victoria was
officially unveiled at the centre of the square on 28th of May, 1896, the day officially appointed for the
celebration of the 77th birthday of the Queen by the then governor Sir William Robinson. Sir Catchick Paul Chater
also gave a speech.
Foundry: Messrs H. Young & Co, Pimlico, London.
The same firm that cast the Sphinx's on the Thames.
Cost : £5,500
Funded By: Public subscription
Location: Queen Victoria was originally erected
in Hong Kong's Statue Square but was dismantled and shipped to Japan during World War II to be melted
down as scrap metal. Somehow the statue survived and was returned to Hong Kong, restored and erected in
1955 at the Causeway Road main entrance of Victoria Park, Hong Kong.
Information Plaque :
Statue of Queen Victoria
In 1887, the Hong Kong Government commissioned a statue of Queen Victoria to be cast in England to
commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne. Upon its completion in 1890,
the statue was exhibited in London before being sent to Hong Kong. In 1896, the statue was erected on
newly reclaimed land in the Central (the site is now Statue Square) with the unveiling ceremony held on
28 May of the same year. The statue was shipped out of Hong Kong during the Japanese occupation from
1941 to 1945 and was returned after the end of the war. Following the completion of restoration wroks
in 1952 the statue was relocated to Victoria Park in 1955.
Things You May Not Know about The Hong Kong Queen Victoria
The Hong Kong statue of Queen Victoria was ordered to commemorate the 1887 Golden Jubilee of the
British monarch. It was suppose to be made in marble but an error was made and wasn't noticed until the bronze
statue was nearly completed.
The statue was actually completed in 1890 but it had to stay in storage until the reclaiming
of land at Statue Park was completed in 1896.
In 1891, shortly after its completion, it was exhibited in Horse Guards in London.
The statue's right hand was taken from an actual cast of Queen Victoria’s hand.
The Statue was removed during World War II and sent to Japan to be melted for scrap metal but
miraculously survived (despite pieces missing) and was later returned to Hong Kong at the same time as the
Hongkong & Shanghai Bank lions following the end of the war . Restoration of the damaged statue was completed
by Raoul Bigazzi in 1952.
In September 1946 the Queen Victoria statue was discovered in Kobe amongst the Osaka
Army's arsenal by the Allied occupation authority. Her crown and right arm were missing. The Japanese turned
over the statue to the Allied Headquarter's Civil Property Custodians after it was demanded to be
returned following complaints by Hong Kong authorities. Also recovered were the two bullet damaged lion sculptures
believed to be those that originally guarded the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank building and a statue of a bronze
man in a "frock coat" which turned out to be the statue of Sir Thomas
Jackson. (Taken from news articles printed in China Mail September 17th, 1946 and Hong Kong Telegraph 12th
A replica of Raggi's statue can be found in Torronto, Canada.
In 1996, 9 months before the British handover of Hong Kong to China, an angry artist from
mainland China, named Pan Xinglei , climbed atop the statue carrying a hammer and two buckets of red paint. He
proceeded to bash in Queen Victoria's nose and then cover her and himself in red paint. Pan claimed his
vandalism wasn't politically motivated but he was simply "tired of the low taste and boring art in Hong
Kong," and wanted to "give citizens a taste of something new." Despite calls to scrap the statue (mainly from
expats) it was restored by Hong Kong's Urban Services Department's Conservation section. She still has a crooked
Mystery: Somewhere in Hong Kong in a wealthy
resident's house sits a small marble replica of this statue made by the sculptor Raggi. It was a
little peace offering after the "bronze" misunderstanding. No one , except a select few know where the marble
sculpture resides or whether it still exists as it was only ever been photographed once.
Background To Statue Square : Sir Catchick Paul
Chater was the brain child behind the waterfront Praya reclamation of Hong kong in 1899. In fact, if it wasn't for
his idea of reclaiming the land, Central Hong Kong would not have the impressive highrise cityscape it has today.
Part of the reclamation was to include a City Square dedicated to the British Empire. After the Queen Victoria
statue was erected, Chater was inspired to erect more statues of reigning and future reigning sovereigns, hence the
area became known as Statue Square. Chater once said of Hong kong "....I have never been in a place that I have
loved more than Hong Kong, and in fact , the longer I stay here the more I like it ..."
Many of the statues that resided in Statue Square have long gone, but one of the orginals still remains, that of
Sir Thomas Jackson.