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A Petition for the Release of Ai Weiwei

 Updates: – Almost a month after he was detained, more than 127,000 petition signatures have been gathered. Click here to add yours. – Ai’s whereabouts remain unknown, but what is certain is that due process under Chinese law has been denied him. – A 3-minute conversation with the artist on British Tate museums’ website. – Salman Rushdie’s editorial in […]

 Updates:

– Almost a month after he was detained, more than 127,000 petition signatures have been gathered. Click here to add yours.

– Ai’s whereabouts remain unknown, but what is certain is that due process under Chinese law has been denied him.

A 3-minute conversation with the artist on British Tate museums’ website.

– Salman Rushdie’s editorial in the New York Times.

 = = = = =

original post, published 11:17 am 2011-04-12

On Sunday, April 3, acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained by police in Beijing as he was boarding a flight to Hong Kong. His current whereabouts are unknown. The arbitrary arrest of artists and intellectuals by any government is very troubling, and this news has struck a deep chord with me and with the art community worldwide.

Weiwei is one of the world’s leading contemporary artists. He is widely regarded for his visionary conceptual work, which often examines structures of power and morality. Weiwei’s work has been exhibited across the world, and recently ArtReview hailed him as one of the “100 Most Powerful Figures in Contemporary Art.”

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has launched a cooperative effort to petition Chinese authorities for Ai Weiwei’s release. The petition was jointly issued by a coalition of curators and directors from museums and organizations worldwide, including the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Tate, the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Walker, along with several others.

The petition has already generated tremendous momentum, but we need your participation. I invite you to take a moment to lend your support to this important effort by signing the petition.

Additional links:
New York Times blog post, April 8, 2011
Olga Viso comments in online journal Eyeteeth, April 7, 2011

  • Crystal Snell says:

    Please release him.

  • Curtis and Jane Hoffman says:

    Please release Ai Weiwei. Thank you.

  • ROSLYE ULTAN says:

    In the spirit of freedom/freedom of artistic expression to communicate ideas, feelings from an aesthetic position artists should and must be protected in their efforts to reach audiences to think for themselves peacefully, but consciously aware of circumstances. This critically acclaimed artist should be honored and treasured for his courage and freed to continue his important work for humanity. RBU

  • Lynn Thomas says:

    I wonder how the U.S. government can make Chinese politicians listen when they owe China trillions of dollars and many U.S. companies depend on China for low-cost manufacturing? Despite human rights violation, China is still a member of the World Trade. What effective leverage do other countries have over China?