As we inch closer and closer to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it seems like we keep hearing more and more negative bits of press. From the pollution to the human rights abuses, it seems like we’re getting a slight trickle that might be some bigger press lately, being as, with any city that hosts a massive worldwide event, there’s only so much you can sweep under the rug. Ai Weiwei, one of China’s top architects and the co-designer of the Bird’s Nest National Stadium, which will be used during the Olympics, doesn’t want to be swept under and he’s come out to say that he’s disgusted by the building and wants nothing to do with its promotion as a symbol of the country’s development, in part due to his father being forced to spend a majority of his life in a labor camp.
He told Reuters, “I’ve already forgotten about it. I turn down all the demands to have photographs with it. I’m not interested. I would feel ashamed if I just designed something for glamour or to show some kind of fake image.”
…Ai reportedly likened China’s embrace of the Olympics as “pretend smile.” He said it was “kind of fake smile which is disgusting…so I hate this.”
Ai said the 91,000-seat Bird’s Nest remained a beautiful, if regretful, commission. “I did it because I love design and the idea of how it would be looked at by others.”
Coca-Cola, meanwhile, is using leftover steel from the stadium’s construction and making pins out of it, claiming:
David Brooks, Vice President and General Manager of the Coca-Cola Olympics Project Group said, “by using leftover steel from the Bird’s Nest construction in the manufacture of Coca-Cola pins, we are bringing people closer to the Olympic Games experience, and supporting the pursuit of a “Green Olympics.”