Ai Weiwei's studio demolished without warning

By Alix Culbertson, news reporter
Artist and activist Ai Weiwei has said the Chinese authorities have started to demolish his Beijing studio without any warning.
The 60-year-old posted videos on Instagram of the large factory building being emptied and a digger clawing at it, smashing through windows on Friday.
In Chinese he wrote: "Today, without any notice, my 'Zuoyou' studio was suddenly forcibly demolished."And in English he wrote: "Farewell."
Ai Weiwei's studio demolished without warning

Diggers were pictured destroying Ai Weiwei's main studio in Beijing. Pic: Instagram/Ai Weiwei
The provocative artist, who has been jailed and placed under house arrest before for his pro-democracy stance, also posted 23 pictures of his works of art created at the Beijing studio.The sudden demolition comes seven years after his Shanghai studio was destroyed by the Chinese government for being "illegal".

Ai claims the Shanghai authorities were "frustrated" by his documentaries on sensitive subjects including a man who murdered six of the city's police officers.
Branded a "deviant and a plagiarist" by state media, Ai was arrested in 2011 in Beijing for tax evasion as he was getting on a flight to Hong Kong.
Ai Weiwei's studio demolished without warning

Ai Weiwei posted photos of works of art created at the studio, including Fairytale Chairs from 2007. Pic: Instagram/Ai Weiwei
He was held without charge for nearly three months and remained under heavy surveillance until 2015 when his passport was finally returned to him.As well as his activism, Ai is famous for his large works of art, including more than 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds first exhibited at London's Tate Modern in 2010.
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A commentary on China's mass production techniques catering to Western countries, it took two-and-a-half years to make, with 1,600 workers.His latest documentary, Human Flow, is about the global refugee crisis, something Ai comments on frequently - especially the Mediterranean migrant crisis.
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