Dissident Artist a Plagiarist: China; Driver and Accountant Missing

After announcing that he was being investigated for unspecified “economic crimes,” Chinese authorities have now provided more details about a possible case being built against imprisoned artist Ai Weiwei. From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Xinhua published late on Saturday a critique of Mr Ai, cataloguing criticisms and accusations against the artist that were allegedly found online.

Mr Ai was last seen being led away by police at a Beijing airport on April 3 after he was barred from boarding a flight to Hong Kong.

The accusation of plagiarism relates to Mr Ai flying 1,001 “ordinary” Chinese citizens to a 2007 show in the German city of Kassel as “living exhibits”, according to Xinhua’s critique.

According to the Xinhua critique, Chinese novelist Wang Shuo wrote in his online blog that Mr Yue Luping, an art professor at the Academy of Fine Arts of Xi’an, was the “alleged author of the innovation” but did not have the money to produce the exhibit.

“In particular, Mr Ai was accused of stealing an art professor’s brainchild,” the report said, noting that Mr Yue did not receive credit in Mr Ai’s exhibit in Germany.

See also an article from china.org.cn which outlines other criticisms of Ai put forth in the official state media. Read more about the case against Ai Weiwei via CDT.

A website set up to track developments in Ai Weiwei’s case has reported that his driver and studio accountant may be missing:

April 10, 2011, 1:00am

Ai Weiwei’s driver, Zhang Jingsong (Xiaopang) has gone missing. Police officers went to find him at the studio at 11:00pm on April 9, but Zhang went out with a friend and did not carry his mobile phone. His friend claimed that he returned to Caochangdi alone at 1:00am but he has not been seen for the entire day, yet his car was parked at the door. A car was parked outside the studio late last night, suspected to be related to the incident.

April 9, 2011 (12:00pm)

Studio staff claimed that Fake Design’s accountant is missing.

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