Chinese dissident artist offered university post - Macleans.ca

Chinese dissident artist offered university post

Must first fight $2-million tax evasion charges

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The Chinese artist and dissident who disappeared for more than two months has been offered a post at a German University.

But it’s unlikely Ai Weiwei will be able to take the job at Berlin University of the Arts anytime soon. He must remain in Beijing to fight nearly $2-million worth of tax evasion charges, he told The Telegraph. Authorities allege he hasn’t paid corporate taxes since 2000.

Ai was secretly imprisoned by Chinese officials in April and then released on June 22 under strict conditions following world-wide political pressure. Many asserted that his imprisonment was the result of his criticism of the Chinese government for covering up the deaths of schoolchildren following the Sichuan earthquake of May 2008. He alleged that officials stole school funds and then built shoddy buildings. His blog listed the names of 5,000 children who died.