Ai Weiwei Accepts Berlin Lecture Gig


Just three weeks after his release from nearly three months of detention, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been offered a new gig, as a guest lecturer at Berlin’s University of the Arts. According to a news release on the university’s website, the offer has been in the works since December, and remained open after Ai’s arrest in April.

Ai told the New York Times that he decided to accept the position recently but has yet to discuss the offer with the Chinese government. On the university’s website, Ai said that the post was a great honor, and that he hopes to firm up his plans soon.

The terms of Ai’s release state that he must remain in Beijing for at least a year, so it is unclear when he would be permitted to leave, and if he’d be able to return home to China. This decision will surely depend on whether or not Ai agrees to pay what the government says are $1.87 million in back taxes and fines, an assessment Ai and his associates are resisting. There will be a hearing on his case in Beijing tomorrow, reports the Times.

Ai’s appointment would be funded by the Einstein Foundation, a state-run institution that supports interdisciplinary research projects in Berlin.