Ai Weiwei Asks Chinese President to Visit His Berlin Show

As Chinese president Xi Jinping makes final preparations for a week and a half long tour through Europe, dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has asked that Xi take time out to visit the artist’s upcoming exhibition at Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau. The 56-year-old artist made the request in an article the German daily, Sueddeutsche Zeitung’s Saturday edition. Ai explains that he and President Xi were “products of the same system,” and notes that their fathers were even good friends.

This follows a video request from the artist two weeks for his passport to be returned. Prominent members of Berlin’s art establishment have also plead for German chancellor Angela Merkel to speak with Xi Jinping about Ai Weiwei’s ongoing travel ban when the pair meet next week.

Opening on April 3rd, Ai’s retrospective at the Martin-Gropius-Bau will be the largest-ever presentation of the artist’s work.

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