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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 August 2018

Ai Weiwei says Chinese authorities demolished his Beijing studio 

The studio in the northeast Beijing suburbs has been Ai's primary workspace since 2006, although he has mostly been based in Europe in recent years

An excavator is seen on the debris in front of the demolished building, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's 'Left and Right' art studio, in the northeast Beijing suburbs Reuters
An excavator is seen on the debris in front of the demolished building, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's 'Left and Right' art studio, in the northeast Beijing suburbs Reuters

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei says authorities have begun razing his Beijing studio. The frequent government critic says on his Instagram account the demolition began on Friday without prior notice and posted videos of an excavator smashing the windows of his "Zuoyou" studio.

The studio in the northeast Beijing suburbs has been Ai's primary workspace since 2006, although he has mostly been based in Europe in recent years.

It's unclear whether the demolition is targeting Ai. Beijing authorities have demolished large swaths of the suburbs in the past year in a building safety campaign, typically giving at least several days' notice.

Ai, who has called attention to human rights violations and government corruption in China, was held for more than two months in 2011 on alleged tax evasion.

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