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Chinese donate money to help Ai Wei-wei pay his 2 million tax bill

 Chinese artist Ai Weiwei speaks to the media in front of his home in Beijing on Tuesday Nov. 1, 2011. The outspoken artist said Tuesday that Chinese ...

China Ai Weiwei

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei speaks to the media in front of his home in Beijing on Tuesday Nov. 1, 2011. The outspoken artist said Tuesday that Chinese ...

Thousands of people have donated RMB$5.29 million ($830,000) to help Ai Wei-wei pay a huge tax fine, with some throwing money wrapped in paper planes into his garden, the Chinese artist said Monday.

“The postal bureau has just notified me that there are 776 cash remittances that we need to go and pick up,” Ai told AFP Monday morning, adding more than four million yuan had already been donated.

By early afternoon, that sum had risen to RMB$5.29 million with 18,829 people contributing towards the bill.

Ai, 54, a globally renowned conceptual artist who is famous for his part in designing Beijing’s Olympic Stadium, was arrested early this year, which prompted an international outcry among artists, politicians and human rights activists.

His family and supporters say he is being punished for speaking out about the Communist leadership and social problems in China.

After Ai was released in June from 81 days in secretive police custody, he received a RMB$15 million ($2.36 million) tax bill from the Chinese authorities which must be paid by Nov 15.

His mother has offered to sell the house left to the family by Ai’s father, Ai Qing, a well-known poet praised by the Chinese Communist Party but who also suffered political persecution.

Supporters have been sending Ai money through Internet and bank transfers, while some have even resorted to throwing cash over the walls into his courtyard home, he said.

“What I need is the ethical support of everybody. I don’t need the money,” Ai said. He has vowed to pay back the money to his donors, some of whom are prominent activists.

AFP


Updated : 2021-04-15 09:12 GMT+08:00