Sculptor Kapoor dedicates work to jailed Chinese artist

Paris: British sculptor Anish Kapoor today dedicated his new monumental art installation in Paris to the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who is in custody in Beijing accused of unspecified crimes.

"I wish to dedicate my new work, Leviathan at the Grand Palais, Paris, to my colleague Ai Weiwei. His arrest, disappearance and alleged torture are unacceptable," the Indian-born Kapoor said in a statement sent to AFP.

"When governments silence artists it bears witness to their barbarity."

Kapoor`s installation goes on display at Paris`s Grand Palais from May 11 to June 23.

The exhibition`s organisers describe it as a vast red sculpture which the visitor will be able to walk inside, as if into the belly of a monster.

Ai, 53, was taken into custody in Beijing on April 3 as he tried to board a flight to Hong Kong, and is under investigation for unspecified "economic crimes". His relatives say they do not know where he is.

Ai repeatedly challenged Chinese authorities, investigating school collapses in the 2008 quake in the southwestern province of Sichuan, and launching a "citizen`s probe" into a Shanghai fire that killed 58 people in November.

His detention -- part of a major government crackdown on dissent, which follows online calls for demonstrations in China to emulate the "Jasmine" protests that have rocked the Arab world -- has sparked an outcry in the West.


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