Polish museum to open exhibition despite Chinese protest
An exhibition at Warsaw’s Centre for Contemporary Art of work by a Chinese dissident artist will go ahead despite pressure from the Chinese embassy.
Entitled 'Tell China's Story Well' and opening in Warsaw on Friday, the exhibition features the work of the artist Badiucao.
An exile based in Australia, his work spans political cartoons, installations, street art and performances and is renowned for denouncing human rights abuses and the suppression of free speech in China.
The exhibition attracted the attention of the Chinese authorities when it was in Prague and now the same is happening in Warsaw, according to Piotr Bernatowicz, the centre’s director.
"The same scenario is repeating itself here," he said. "Immediately after the exhibition had been announced, we were visited by a high ranking Chinese Embassy official who demanded that the exhibition should be cancelled.
"Letters are now being sent to the Culture Ministry with a demand that the exhibition should not open," he added.
"We cannot accept the steps taken by the Chinese Embassy which are designed to stop Badiucao's exhibition."
Bernatowicz explained that the Chinese Embassy had exerted pressure on the art centre in the Czech capital that was hosting the exhibition, and the centre’s website was blocked in China immediately after the exhibition’s opening was announced.
In a response to the news that the Chinese embassy in Warsaw was trying to exert pressure Badiucao said that "this is not the first time that the Chinese government is trying to 'kill' my exhibition".
The title of his exhibition refers to China’s public diplomacy strategy and the phrase was introduced by President Xi Jinping in 2013.