The Chinese tax authorities have rejected the dissident artist Ai Weiwei tax evasion fine. Mr Ai was barred from attending the court hearing in Beijing to hear the delivered verdict. In 2011 a 15m yuan ($2.4m, £1.5m) fine was imposed on the artist’s firm, ‘Fake Cultural Development’ for tax evasion.
Supporters of the artist have always maintained that the charges were brought for his outspoken stand on human rights in the country and the fine was politically motivated. “will keep appealing, until the day comes when we have nothing to lose,” and “This country has once again proved to the world that law and justice don’t exist here” Mr Ai stated on his Twitter site. His lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, who was in court for the verdict, told reporters that the ruling was ”totally without reason”. Mr Ai, 55, has said that the tax bill is pay-back for his activism and challenged it on the grounds that proper procedure had not been followed.
Ai Weiwei was born in 1957 in Beijing, China, where he lives and works. He is one of the most widely known and outspoken Chinese artists working today. Known for his social or performance-based interventions as well as object-based artworks, he employs metaphorical references, humour and political irony in his work. He has currently collaborated on the design of the 2012 Serpentine Pavilion with Herzog & de Meuron the original team which produced his best known work, the ‘Birds Nest’ stadium in Bejjing.