NYC Mayor Bloomberg Speaks Out For Detained Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei

Juxtapoz // Thursday, 05 May 2011
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05-01

New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has spoken out in defense of Ai Weiwei, as the Mayor was speaking at the NYC Plaza Hotel Wednesday to open a public art installation by the detained Chinese artist Ai. Bloomberg went as far as to say the Chinese governement "do not value and protect free speech."

As the Huffington Post noted, "At the same time, Bloomberg acknowledged, 'There is much to admire about China and the great Chinese people.' He pointed to Beijing's famous Bird's Nest stadium, partially designed by Ai, as an example of the country's potential for greatness."

This is an interesting development that the mayor of the United States' largest and one of the most diverse cities in the world would make a point to challenge the Chinese government's treatment of Ai Weiwei. Just the business implications alone makes it surprising to us. Bloomberg, although slightly cautious, did say, "I believe what I believe."

Bloomberg was opening Ai's Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads at NYC's Pulitzer Fountain. Ai was supposed to be there for the public unveiling, but obviously, his detainment make that impossible.

We encourage all our readers to visit FreeAiWeiwei.org for more information about the artist's detainment.

Photo: EPA/JUSTIN LANE.

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