Lego donations pour in for Ai Weiwei at Australian gallery


Sydney (dpa) – Children and adults poured Lego pieces through the sunroof of a car placed outside Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria Thursday as donations for Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

Pictures from the gallery showed plastic figures and colourful blocks starting to build up around the front seats and gear shift inside the old white BMW.

The public donations came after the Danish company refused to sell the Chinese artist a bulk order of Lego blocks as he was intending to use them for “political works.”

Weiwei wanted to use Lego blocks to create a series of portraits of prominent human rights figures at the gallery as part of his exhibition with works of the late US artist Andy Warhol.

People flooded social media wanting to donate their Lego for Weiwei’s work and Weiwei set about acquiting BMW 5S sedans equipped with sunroofs to serve as collection points.

The gallery placed the white car, acquired off online marketplace Gumtree according to a Guardian report, in its gardens for Thursday’s official start to the Lego donation campaign.

The first container – a red BMW – began collecting donations in Beijing earlier this week.

Similar collection points outside art galleries around the world are also expected to take donations. The artist has specified the cars are to have clear windows, sunroofs can that be opened to form a gap 5 centimetres wide, and bear no corporate logos.