Mayor’s Office Pushes Back Ai Weiwei Public Art Project Opening in Order to Respond to Osama bin Laden News

As we reported last month when artist Ai Weiwei was detained by government officials as he tried to leave his native China, the City of New York promised that his disappearance would not stop them from launching the public art project they’d commissioned from him, which is to sit next to the Pulitzer Fountain just outside of the Plaza Hotel. While everything is largely in place, though still under plastic wrapping, the official opening was delayed at the last minute, given Sunday evening’s unprecedented news that Osama bid Laden had been killed. Instead of appearing at an art unveiling on Monday morning, Mayor Bloomberg and his office decided it was more immediately important to deliver a speech responding to the bin Laden news (here’s the transcript of his speech). However, the Weiwei opening (which will not include the artist, given that he’s still missing), is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 8:30am.