2008 Beijing Olympics Stadium Designer Arrested

The United States expressed concern over Ai Weiwei’s arrest.

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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is best known in the United States for his design of Beijing’s “bird’s nest” Olympic stadium. But the visionary artist, who currently has an exhibit at London’s Tate Modern gallery, has run afoul of the Chinese government and has been detained by police for over a week. The United States, Britain, and Germany have all officially expressed concern over Weiwei’s detention. In recent years, the 53-year-old has grown increasingly critical of China’s communist government, particularly the limits it sets on personal liberties. As a result, Weiwei has truly suffered for his art. Police kicked down his door in 2009 and beat him so badly that he later suffered a brain hemorrhage. Last year, when government bulldozers plowed under a new $1.1 million art studio that Weiwei had just built north of Shanghai, he turned the event into a work of art itself, filming the destruction.