Artist Ai Weiwei covers Berlin's concert hall in refugee life vests

Landmark's pillars wrapped in 14,000 bright orange jackets


Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has wrapped 14,000 life jackets from refugees around the pillars of Berlin's Konzerthaus in his latest installation.

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The 58-year-old was given the life vests by authorities on the Greek island of Lesbos for his new artwork which highlights the plight of hundreds of refugees trying to reach Europe by sea each day, Associated Press reports.

More than 400 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea this year.


Weiwei has repeatedly visited Lesbos since the start of the refugee crisis. Last month, he closed his exhibition Ruptures in Denmark over the country's new law that states authorities can seize valuables from asylum seekers.

Speaking to the Guardian, he said: "My moments with refugees in the past months have been intense. I see thousands come daily, children, babies, pregnant women, old ladies, a young boy with one arm."

He added: "The way I can protest is that I can withdraw my works from that country. It is very simple, very symbolic – I cannot co-exist, I cannot stand in front of these people, and see these policies. It is a personal act, very simple; an artist trying not just to watch events but to act, and I made this decision spontaneously."

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