Dissident artist flooded with cash after appeal

Thousands of people have sent a total of more than £500,000 to the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, some throwing cash folded into planes over his gate, to help him pay a tax bill they see as government harassment.

The donation campaign – also in the form of wire transfers and cash stuffed in envelopes or wrapped around fruit that is tossed into his yard – is rare for Chinese dissidents because of the threat of retaliation against their supporters.

Nearly 20,000 people have sent more than 5.3 million yuan (£524,000) since Ai announced a week ago that the Beijing tax bureau was demanding that he pay 15 million yuan in back taxes and fines, the artist said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ai, an acclaimed conceptual artist, was detained for nearly three months earlier this year.