Artist Ai Weiwei detained by Chinese GovernmentPosted: April 11, 2011
Beloved conceptual artist Ai Weiwei was detained at the Beijing airport a week ago today and remains in police custody. Part of the recent Communist crack-down on reform-minded dissenters, Mr. Ai’s detention has roused international arts institutions to organize on his behalf. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is leading the charge with the support of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Tate in London, and the American Association of Art Museum Directors, among others.
“By using Ai Wei Wei’s favored medium of ’social sculpture,’ we hope to hasten the release of our visionary friend and artist,’’ the Guggenheim Foundation said in a statement on its Web site. The foundation and the museums said in a letter posted with the petition on Facebook and Twitter on Friday addressed to the Minister of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, Cai Wu: “We members of the international arts community express our concern for Ai’s freedom and disappointment in China’s reluctance to live up to its promise to nurture creativity and independent thought, the keys to ‘soft power’ and cultural influence.’’
–From The New York Times