Still Recovering, Ai Weiwei Cancels Frankfurt Book Fair Appearance, Possibly Due to More Political Pressure

A few weeks back, we told you about artist and Bird’s Nest stadium co-designer Ai Weiwei, who had recently undergone very serious surgery for a cerebral hemorrhage, likely caused the beating he’d received by Chinese officials over his involvement with an investigation into why China’s 2008 earthquake had been so devastating. Art Info now reports, by way of the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, that Weiwei has canceled his appearance at the upcoming Frankfurt Book Fair, which is set to have China as its guest of honor for the four day event. Although Weiwei says that he’s decided to cancel so that he can fully recover from his operation, he also stated that he has “no real desire for empty and pointless political debate,” leading many to believe that pressure had been put on him by his government not to attend.

Publish date: October 9, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT