Don't miss




Ten days to save Merkel? German leader under pressure over border policy

Read more


Alarmingly high rates of HIV among China's youth

Read more


Samira Wiley, Darren Criss & Neal McDonough at Monte-Carlo Television Festival

Read more


Violence against trangender women in Indonesia, and more

Read more


'The frozen heart of America': Condemnation as migrant families torn apart in US

Read more


'There are two policies towards Russia in the Trump administration'

Read more


Grandmas Project: 'Their history was passed down through food'

Read more


Mali's basketball star: NBA top player Cheick Diallo makes hometown proud

Read more


Trump threatens huge new tariffs on China

Read more


Lego changes sales policy following Ai Weiwei fiasco

© Leon Neal, AFP | Lego bricks are poured through the sunroof of a BMW 5 series car, used as a receptacle for donations of Lego bricks for Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in the courtyard of the Royal Academy in central London on October 30, 2015.


Latest update : 2016-01-13

Toymaker Lego will no longer ask what its bricks will be used for when making bulk sales, the company said, after facing criticism for refusing to sell to controversial Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

The Danish company found itself at the centre of a social media storm last year after Ai said it had refused his order of the famous children's building blocks as they would be "used for political works".

Ai said he was "flabbergasted" by the decision, and in a social media post appeared to link the refusal to the recent announcement that British firm Merlin Entertainments will open a Legoland theme park in Shanghai.

But the world's second-largest toymaker made a U-turn on Tuesday, saying that from this month it would no longer ask for the reasons behind large sales to avoid any "misunderstandings".

"As of January 1st, the Lego Group no longer asks for the thematic purpose when selling large quantities of LEGO bricks for projects," the company said in a statement.

"Instead, the customers will be asked to make it clear – if they intend to display their Lego creations in public – that the LEGO Group does not support or endorse the specific projects."

Ai, China's most prominent contemporary artist, helped design the Bird's Nest stadium for the Beijing Olympics and has been exhibited around the globe, but his works have often run afoul of China's authorities.

He used Lego bricks to create portraits of political activists from around the world during a 2014 exhibition on freedom of expression at the famous US island prison of Alcatraz, in San Francisco Bay.

He also used the building blocks to create artworks for the Andy Warhol-Ai Wei Wei show in Melbourne, Australia, last year after fans from around the world donated bricks in defiance of Lego's refusal to sell to him.

Responding to news of Lego's policy change the artist quipped on Twitter: "Nice move #freedomofexpression."

China has been a key driver of Lego's growth in recent years, and the company opened an office in Shanghai last year in addition to its manufacturing operations in the country.


Date created : 2016-01-13


    Chinese artist Weiwei visits refugees on Greek island of Lesbos

    Read more

  • CHINA - UK

    Six-month visa denied over Ai Weiwei's alleged 'criminal conviction'

    Read more


    Court rejects Ai Weiwei's appeal of $2.4 million tax fine

    Read more