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Ai Weiwei Closes Danish Show Early, Protesting New Refugee Law [Updated]

Jens Faurschou and Ai Weiwei. AI WEIWEI/VIA INSTAGRAM

Jens Faurschou and Ai Weiwei.

AI WEIWEI/VIA INSTAGRAM

After a law passed in Denmark that allows authorities to search asylum-seeking refugees’ homes and confiscate their belongings, Ai Weiwei protested by closing his show at the Faurschou Foundation in Copenhagen, the Guardian reports. The show, titled “Ai Weiwei: Ruptures,” was supposed to be on view through April 15.

The new law came to pass after a vote in Denmark’s parliament yesterday. According to the Danish government, the law is intended to fund the expense of keeping refugees in the country. Since the law was enacted yesterday, there has been a media outcry, and now Ai, who has recently taken an interest in the plight of refugees, has also responded.

Ai is currently in Lesbos, filming a documentary about the refugee situation in Greece. At the end of last year, the Chinese artist set up a studio on the Greek island, where he also plans to erect a memorial to refugees.

In a statement made available on its website, the Faurschou Foundation said, “Jens Faurschou backs the artist’s decision and regrets that the Danish parliament chose…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.”

UPDATE 01/27/2016, 11:40 a.m.: The Local now reports that Ai will also be pulling his work out of a group show at the ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum. That show, a survey of Chinese contemporary art called “A New Dynasty,” featured a new installation by Ai.

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