Is China the right country to be the guest of honor at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair? The debate could be rekindled this week following the hospitalization in Munich of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who believes he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage this week because of an alleged beating by secret police in Sichuan.
Surgeons at a clinic in Munich on Monday performed surgery on 51-year-old Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, after diagnosing a cerebral hemorhage on the right side of his brain. Ai told SPIEGEL in August that secret police had attacked him in his hotel room in southern China’s Sichuan province on August 12. The head injury now being treated is presumed to be connected to the attack.
Ai is considered one of China’s most important artists as well as one of its most well-known abroad, but after repeatedly provoking the government with allegations of human rights violations, he has also become one of the country’s most controversial. Just over a week ago, the artist — who participated in the design of the “Bird’s Nest” Olympic stadium in Beijing — flew from China to Munich to prepare for the opening of his new solo exhibition, “So Sorry,” which is set to run from Oct. 11.