Mayor Bloomberg praises New York City for its ability to freely express art.
The sculptures of an artist detained in China are now on display in Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s exhibition called Circle of Animas/Zodiac Heads features twelve large bronze animal heads in front of the Pulitzer Fountain.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined city artists at the unveiling of the sculptures Wednesday. He criticized the Chinese government for repressing free expression and said the display was a symbol of American freedom.
“We will continue to be the international stage in which voiced from all corners of the earth can be heard,” said Mayor Bloomberg, “I will continue to stand up and speak out when attacks on freedom of expression attack the city.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the artist’s detainment has nothing to do with human rights or freedom of expression. The Ministry said Weiwei is under investigation for economic crimes.
Ai Weiwei lived in New York for over a decade when he studied at Parson’s The New School for Design in the 1980s. New York City is the first stop for the display’s six-city tour. It will be at Grand Army Plaza through July 15th.