Ai Weiwei: Artist finds listening devices hidden in his studio

'There will always be surprises'

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Artist Ai Weiwei returned from a trip to London to discover what he believes to be listening devices hidden in the walls of his studio. 

The Chinese dissident, who was in England last month for the launch of his Royal Academy exhibition, posted pictures and videos of one device, which he said he found behind a plug socket. In a series of updates on his Twitter and Instagram feeds, he said that he found the “bugs” while renovating his workspace, adding: “There will always be surprises.”

He uploaded a video of someone lighting fireworks in a bin next to the device, with the comment: “Can you hear this?”

It was his first overseas trip in four years, marking the end of a travel ban that was introduced during 2011 while he was under house. He was  arrested and fined for tax evasion – a charge he claims was politically motivated. 

While in London Weiwei held a “walk of compassion” with fellow artist Anish Kapoor in solidarity with refugees around the world. 

He also posed for a selfie with WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange.