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China returned passport to dissident artist Ai Weiwei

Jul 23, 2015 11:09 IST

World-renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was in news in July 2015 after Chinese authorities on 22 July 2015 returned his passport. With this, he is now free to travel overseas.

The 57-year old critic of China was arrested in 2011 during a government crackdown on political activists and was held over alleged crimes of tax evasion and bigamy. He was released later without any charge.

With the release, Weiwei, an Honorary Royal Academician, will be able to travel to London in September 2015 for a landmark solo exhibition. The show will include significant works from 1993 onwards, when Ai returned to China after a decade in New York.

Weiwei has been most remembered for his famous British installations Sunflower Seeds at Tate Modern in 2010.

The decision to return Weiwei’s passport comes amidst Beijing’s crackdown on human rights lawyers which has led to more than 240 peoples being arrested since 10 July 2015.

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