Chinese Government Demolishes Artist Ai Weiwei’s Shanghai Studio

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By Steve Delahoyde Comments

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Back in November, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei learned that government officials in Shanghai were planning on demolishing his recently-completed studio on the outskirts of that city, the same facility the government had invited him to build. No stranger to beatings and detainment, the studio became the latest target against Weiwei’s political activism and complaints about human rights abuse in his native China. This week, citing improper building permits, the government lived up to their promise by arriving in the middle of the night to bulldoze the entire structure; as the BBC reports, they “flattened the building within a day.” Shanghaist has several photos of the demolition and Foreign Policy has a number of great shots of the party supporters threw there back in November, when the news was released that the space was not long for this world (the artist himself was under house arrest at the time and couldn’t attend). Weiwei’s Twitter feed has remained active, sharing a few links about the news, and the New Yorker‘s Beijing-based staff writer, Evan Osnos, has filed this great report on the destruction of the studio and how the whole project seemed to fall apart from the start.