Many Americans—and nearly all museum professionals—have noted with great concern the recent reports of the arrest and detention in Beijing of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. This news has come just as the City of New York prepares to install the artist's first major American exhibition, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, which opens at Central Park's Grand Army Plaza on May 2.
I released the following statement today:
As a member of the world museum community, The Metropolitan Museum of Art calls for the immediate release of the artist Ai Weiwei. While our relationships and cultural exchanges with museums in China are crucially important to this institution, the Metropolitan Museum remains unequivocally committed to the principle of free artistic expression. We maintain our sincere and urgent hope that Ai Weiwei will regain his liberty and resume his work soon.
See an online petition calling for Ai Weiwei's release.