China's Ai Weiwei pulls works from Denmark

China's Ai Weiwei pulls works from Denmark
Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei said he would withdraw from two exhibitions in Denmark to protest against a law that included rules on confiscating valuables from refugees.
3 min read
27 January, 2016
Ai Wei Wei has supported refugees on the island of Lesvos [twitter]
Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is withdrawing his works from two museums in Denmark to protest a controversial new law that allows Danish authorities to seize valuables from refugees.

Ai announced on social media Wednesday that he no longer wanted to have his works on display at the Aros museum in Aarhus and the Faurschou Foundation in Copenhagen.

Curator Jennie Haagemann told AP that Ai called the owner of the Faurschou Foundation to inform him of his decision.

Aros museum officials said they didn't know anything beyond what Ai had posted on Twitter and Instagram.

Museum director Erlend Hoeyersten said he has "great respect" for Ai's criticism of Danish immigration policies, "but I also find it unreasonable that an entire people is punished for the government's policies."

Ai Weiwei has been supportive of rights for refugees and established a studio on the Greek island of Lesvos, an arrival point for tens of thousands searching for a better life in Europe.

Many others were outraged by the decision that was finalized in the Danish Parliament yesterday, even calling for boycotts and saying that they would no longer travel to the country.   

Twitter users felt that Denmark could do far more to help those fleeing war and persecution.



Many likened the plans to the confiscation of gold and other valuables from Jews by the Nazis during the Holocaust.



Denmark also recently passed laws that would mean refugees need to wait at least three years before applying for family reunification, a move that would keep loved-ones separated for up to five years.  

The country was a popular gateway for thousands of refugees attempting to reach neighbouring Sweden, perceived by many to have more liberal refugee laws. 

However, the intoduction of passport checks between the two countries has reportedly led to an increase in asylum applications in Denmark. 

Agencies contributed to this report.