VodkaPundit

Lego Refuses to Sell Bricks to Chinese Protest Artist

Ai Weiwei Lego art project. Tim Marlow the Artistic Director at the Royal Academy of Arts, deposits some Lego into a BMW 5 series sedan parked in the Royal Academy's Courtyard in central London, during a photo call for a new international art project by Ai Weiwei. Picture date: Friday October 30, 2015. Visitors to the Royal Academy of Arts will be encouraged to donate Lego blocks through the vehicle's sunroof. The car will remain in the courtyard from Friday 30 October until the end of November 2015. Photo credit should read: Nick Ansell/PA Wire URN:24594790 (Press Association via AP Images)

Ai Weiwei Lego art project. Tim Marlow the Artistic Director at the Royal Academy of Arts, deposits some Lego into a BMW 5 series sedan parked in the Royal Academy’s Courtyard in central London, during a photo call for a new international art project by Ai Weiwei. Picture date: Friday October 30, 2015. Visitors to the Royal Academy of Arts will be encouraged to donate Lego blocks through the vehicle’s sunroof. The car will remain in the courtyard from Friday 30 October until the end of November 2015. Photo credit should read: Nick Ansell/PA Wire URN:24594790 (Press Association via AP Images)

This story breaks my heart a little:

Art galleries around the world are collecting plastic pieces for the dissident Chinese artist after the Danish toy company refused to supply its product for his latest project.

Ai, whose work is often critical of Chinese authorities, says Lego last month refused a bulk purchase order from an Australian gallery where he plans to build a new artwork on the theme of freedom of speech.

Ai called the move “an act of censorship and discrimination,” but Lego says it can’t endorse the use of its bricks in projects with a “political agenda.”

Lego bricks are one of the great expressions of freedom in children’s toys, and to see the company cave to Beijing’s censors… that’s sad.

Good on the museums for donating to Ai what Lego refused to sell to him.