BEIJING – Chinese artist Ai Weiwei says authorities have begun razing his Beijing studio.
The frequent government critic said on his Instagram account the demolition began Friday without prior notice and posted videos of an excavator smashing the windows of his “Zuoyou” studio.
The studio in the northeast Beijing suburbs has been Ai’s primary work space since 2006, although his has mostly been based in Europe in recent years.
It’s unclear whether the demolition is targeting Ai. Beijing authorities have demolished large swaths of the suburbs in the past year in a building safety campaign, typically giving at least several days’ notice.
Ai, who has called attention to human rights violations and government corruption in China, was held for more than two months in 2011 on alleged tax evasion.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.