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China Detains Dissident Artist

Chinese authorities have detained Ai Weiwei, an outspoken critic of China’s government and one of its most famous contemporary artists—he is one among dozens recently held by the state.

Apparently fearing reverberations from the political uprisings in the Middle East and Africa, Chinese authorities have recently detained dozens of critics “since anonymous calls for a ‘Jasmine Revolution’ in China began circulating online in mid-February.” One of the detained is Ai Weiwei, an artist who rose to national prominence after helping design the Bird’s Nest stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A supporter of the jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, Ai Weiwei’s artistic freedom has been compromised by his social activism and he has since sought a studio in Germany, according to The Wall Street Journal.


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