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Brick by brick: help Ai Weiwei collect Lego for a new installation

Isabelle Aron

If you thought Lego was just for small children or geeky big kids, think again. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei had big plans to create a new installation about free speech, made from Lego, but the Danish toy company has denied his bulk order of bricks because of the artwork's political content. The artist's supporters have hit back on Twitter, offering to donate their own Lego using the hashtag #legoforaiweiwei. Who knew those seemingly innocent toy bricks could cause so much controversy?

But Ai Weiwei isn't giving up without a fight, and he's now set up collection points around the world in Beijing, Berlin and Melbourne, where you can donate Lego to go towards the project. The Royal Academy has just opened London's first collection point, in the form of a second-hand BMW 5 series sedan in the gallery's courtyard, where visitors can toss their Lego blocks through the car's open sunroof. Inconspicuous, no? 

The car will be in the Royal Academy’s courtyard from October 30 until the end of November.

Donations can also be made by post to this address: Ai Weiwei Lego Project, Lisson Gallery, 52 Bell Street, London, NW1 5BU.

See Ai Weiwei's retrospective show at the Royal Academy of Arts.

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