Ai Weiwei closes exhibition in Denmark to protest confiscation of asylum seekers' valuables

'The Danish parliament chooses to be at the forefront of symbolic and inhuman politics'

Jack Shepherd
Wednesday 27 January 2016 16:42
Artist Ai Weiwei
Artist Ai Weiwei

Late last year, Ai Weiwei caused quite a stir by accusing David Cameron of ‘putting human rights aside’ when he welcomed the Chiese President.

Even earlier in 2015, Weiwei’s use of Lego for politically poignant work led the toy company to stop sending him bulk numbers of bricks. Hundreds of supporters rallied against Lego, the company eventually allowing their toy to be used for political statements.

The Chinese artist/activist has now closed his latest exhibition in Denmark to protest the country’s new law allowing authorities to take valuable items from refugees seeking asylum.

“Ai Weiwei has decided to close his exhibition Ruptures at Faurschou Foundation Copenhagen, Denmark,” stated his Instagram account. “This decision follows the Danish parliament’s approval of the law proposal that allows seizing valuables and delaying family reunions for asylum seekers.

“Jens Faurschou backs the artist’s decision and regrets that the Danish parliament chooses to be in the forefront of symbolic and inhuman politics of today’s biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe and the Middle East, instead of being in the forefront of a respectful European solution to solve the acute humanitarian crisis.”

It was recently announced that the Danish parliament had approved the controversial law that would allow authorities to seize refugees’ cash and valuables.

“We are talking about a real exodus,” Martin Henriksen, immigration spokesman for the populist DPP said. “We need tighter immigration rules.”

The country received over 21,000 asylum applications last year, one of the highest rates per capita in the Europe.

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