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'Dead' Ai Weiwei alarms German village

A sculpture depicting Chinese artist Ai Weiwei as a corpse has alarmed residents of the small German town where the artwork is on display.
Ai weiwei dead germany 11 3 2011Enlarge
The sculpture by Chinese artist He Xiangyu, titled 'The Death of Marat'. (Thomas Frey/AFP/Getty Images)

The life-size sculpture of a "dead" Ai Weiwei, by fellow Chinese artist He Xiangyu, is currently on display in Bad Ems, west Germany.

It can be seen lying face-down on the floor of the Künstlerhauses Schloss Balmoral gallery - prompting a number of passersby to call the police.

One resident reported that the gallery was keeping the groomed remains of a dead man on display, ArtInfo said.

Police officer Peter Steger told Reuters that it wasn't an isolated complaint:

"Several people had already called within days of the exhibition going up."

The gallery had in fact anticipated the public's alarm, spokesperson Anne-Kathrin Auel told ArtInfo. The owners informed the police before installing the exhibit to avoid false alarms.

The highly realistic sculpture is made of plastic and fiberglass, with real human hair hand-knotted on the head. He Xiangyu says he intended it as a comment on the Chinese authorities' harsh treatment of Ai Weiwei.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/dead-ai-weiwei-alarms-german-village