Chinese artist imitates photo of Syrian toddler on the beach

By 02.01.2016 news > World
In this Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 photo, a visitor passes by an image that shows Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, lying face down on a beach photographed by Indian photographer Rohit Chawla at the India Today stand at the India Art Fair in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

NEW DELHI (AP) — Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has recreated the famous image of a 3-year-old Syrian child who drowned in Turkey last year by staging a photo of himself lying face down on a beach in Greece.

The photograph last year of the child lying on a Turkish beach triggered international outrage as people saw the helpless toddler as the devastating human face of the refugee crisis in Europe.

Ai posed last week on a pebbly beach on Lesbos island for the picture for one of India’s largest English-language news magazines, India Today.

Rohit Chawla, the magazine’s photographer and visual director, traveled to Lesbos to take the picture.

The photograph was displayed at an art fair in New Delhi over the weekend and many visitors took pictures of it.

Ai has set up a studio on Lesbos where he is working on several projects with refugee-related themes. Lesbos is the main entry point for refugees seeking a better life in Europe.

Ai said last Thursday that he had decided to withdraw his works from two Danish museums out of deep anger at a new law allowing Denmark to seize valuables from migrants.

The Chinese artist is famous for works addressing human rights abuses, official corruption and the collision between Chinese culture and Western consumerism.

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