AI WEIWEI'S ARREST IN CHINA
Famous for his large scale installations and political outspokenness, the artist Ai Weiwei was arrested in April 2011 when boarding a plane to Hong Kong. His Beijing studio was later raided and his wife and colleagues seized. Ai Weiwei was charged with economic crimes, pornography and bigamy. The arrest was part of a larger swoop on dissidents in China which saw poets, activists and other critics of the regime fall victim of threats and mistreatment. Ai Weiwei had already been physically abused by the police in 2009 in connection with his involvement in the aftermaths of an earthquake in south China. The earthquake killed many children due to the poor construction of school buildings resulting from corruption. The arrest and treatment of Ai Weiwei received considerable publicity thanks to Weiwei's international status. Despite the fact that China's regime was now scrutinised by the world it would take 81 days for him to be released. Ai Weiwei has continued to talk about China's censorship and became one of the world's most famous artists. He ranked third on Artreview's Power 100 in 2011, a list of the most influential people in the art world.