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Image: GERMANY-CHINA-ART-AI WEIWEI

World

Artist Ai Wei Wei strikes a nerve

Ai Weiwei, whose sculpture representing the mythical figures of the Chinese zodiac will be unveiled Monday in New York, has been detained by Chinese authorities and accused of serious crimes. Click to see photos of some of his most influential works.

 / Updated 23 PHOTOS
Image: GERMANY-CHINA-ART-AI WEIWEI

An assistant walks across the installation "Stools" of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei made of 6000 stools in the atrium of the Martin-Gropius-Bau exhibition hall in Berlin, Germany on March 21, 2014. The worldwide largest one-man exhibition of the Chinese dissident and artist was dubbed "Evidence" and will be shown from April 3, 2014 to July 7, 2014. The show includes works that were specifically created for the Marin-Gropius-Bau exhibition. AFP PHOTO / DPA/ KAY NIETFELD GERMANY OUT RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTIONKAY NIETFELD/AFP/Getty Images
Kay Nietfeld / DPA
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Image: Miami Artist Destroys Vase By Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei In Museum

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 18: Museum patrons walk past the exhibit by artist Ai Weiwei: "According To What?" at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) on February 18, 2014 in Miami, Florida. On February 16, a person broke one of the vases in the exhibit and is facing a criminal charge after police say he smashed the $1 million vase in what appears to be a form of protest against the lack of lack of local artist on display. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle / Getty Images North America
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Image: Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei holds up his phone on speaker as he and journalists listen to the verdict of his court hearing at the courtyard of his studio in Beijing

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei (C) holds up his phone on speaker as he and journalists listen to the verdict of his court hearing at the courtyard of his studio in Beijing, July 20, 2012. A Chinese court on Friday upheld a $2 million fine for tax evasion against the country's most famous dissident, Ai Weiwei, after baring him from attending the hearing, in a case that critics accuse Beijing of using to muzzle the outspoken artist. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic (CHINA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)
Petar Kujundzic / X00150
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Image: Ai Weiwei

In this Nov. 16, 2011 photo, Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei opens his jacket to reveal a shirt bearing his portrait as he walks into the Beijing Local Taxation Bureau. Ai's latest provocative piece was handed to him by the Chinese government: a $2.4 million tax bill that he says is a trumped-up effort to silence him. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Andy Wong / AP
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Image: A woman looks at an art installation by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei during a media preview in Taipei

A woman looks at an art installation named "Forever Bicycles" by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei during a media preview of the "Ai Weiwei Absent" exhibition in Taipei, October 28, 2011. The exhibition is scheduled to run from October 29, 2011 to January 29, 2012 at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and features 21sets of Ai's works, including installation pieces, photography, sculpture, and videos.
Pichi Chuang / X02348
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---- EDITORS NOTE ----- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / COURTESY OF AI WEIWEI" NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS GRAPHIC CONTENT CONTAINS NUDITY This undated handout image received on November 18, 2011 shows Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (C) posing with women in the nude in Beijing. Chinese police are investigating Ai Weiwei on pornography charges, the artist and outspoken government critic said on November 18, after his assistant was taken in for questioning. Ai, who spent 81 days in secret police detention earlier this year and was later accused of evading taxes on a huge scale, told AFP authorities had accused him before of producing pornography, but he had not taken the charge seriously. The accusations apparently centre on racy photographs posted on the Internet showing Ai with women, he said. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO / COURTESY OF AI WEIWEI (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
Afp / AFP
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Image: Ai Weiwei, a high-profile artist and ardent government critic.

FILE -- Ai Weiwei, a high-profile artist and ardent Chinese government critic, in Beijing, March 6, 2011. On Sunday Chinese authorities detained Ai as he tried to board a plane for Hong Kong, his friends and associates said. The detention appears to be part of a crackdown by the Chinese authorities that began in February. (Shiho Fukada/The New York Times)
Shiho Fukada / NYTNS
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This picture taken in suburban Shanghai

This picture taken in suburban Shanghai on January 11, 2011 shows the newly built Shanghai studio of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei being demolished. The 53-year-old Ai, one of China's most famous and controversial artists, said the demolition which began before dawn without any prior notification was linked to his political activism. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Str / AFP
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Image: Chinese Artist and Dissident Ai Weiwei Arrested

June 30, 2009, China: Ai Weiwei was arrested while barding a flight from Beijing to Hong Kong on April 4, 2011, as part of a crackdown to suppress a feared uprising in China. As activists moved for a Jasmine Revolution, inspired by the protests and regime changes in the Middle East, the communist nation has begun to arrest writers, activists, bloggers and other dissidents. ///Ai Weiwei. Credit: Sharron Lovell / Polaris
Sharron Lovell
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Image: Sports Events

epa01465789 A timelapse photograph shows spectators leaving the National Stadium of China, also known as Bird's Nest, after the Closing Ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, 24 August 2008. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS
Michael Reynolds / EPA
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Sotheby's employee Laura Tendil, from France, poses for photographs with part of one hundred Kg of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's handmade porcelain Kui Hua Zi, sunflower seeds, at the auction house's premises in London, Monday, Jan. 31, 2011. The piece is estimated to fetch between 80,000 and 120,000 pounds ($127,347 and $191,021, 92,887 and 139,331 euro) in Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction which takes place on Feb. 15. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham / AP
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Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Unveils This Year's Unilever Installation At The Tate Modern

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 11: Workers rake the seeds of Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei's Unilever Installation 'Sunflower Seeds' at The Tate Modern on October 11, 2010 in London, England. The sculptural installation comprises 100 million handmade porcelain replica sunflower seeds. Visitors to the Turbine Hall will be able to walk on the work - which opens on October 12, 2010 and runs until May 2, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images Europe
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1996-2001 Accusoft Co., All Righ
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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei poses in the mi

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei poses in the middle of his work made of 100 pieces of trees and called "Rooted Upon" (dated 2009) at the "Haus der Kunst" (House of Art) during the presentation of his exhibition "So Sorry", on October 9, 2009 in Munich, southern Germany. The exhibition will be open for the public from October 12, 2009 to January 17, 2010. AFP PHOTO DDP / JOERG KOCH GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read JOERG KOCH/AFP/Getty Images)
Joerg Koch / DDP
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Ai Weiwei 'So Sorry' Exhibition Opening

MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: A man points towards the installation 'Template' during the 'So Sorry' exhibition opening at 'Haus der Kunst' on October 11, 2009 in Munich, Germany. The show will be open to the public till January 17, 2010. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
Miguel Villagran / Getty Images Europe
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Ai Weiwei 'So Sorry' Exhibition Opening

MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Visitors stand behind the wooden installation 'without title' during the 'So Sorry' exhibition opening at 'Haus der Kunst' on October 11, 2009 in Munich, Germany. The show will be open to the public till January 17, 2010. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
Miguel Villagran / Getty Images Europe
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Ai Wei Wei 'So Sorry' Exhibition Preparations

MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 09: A man takes a look at the art installation 'Cube light' by Ai Weiwei, one of China's most controversial artists, at 'Haus der Kunst' on October 9, 2009 in Munich, Germany. The show 'So Sorry' will open on October 12, 2009 for public. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
Miguel Villagran / Getty Images Europe
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An installation called "Remembering" by

An installation called "Remembering" by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is seen at the "Haus der Kunst" (House of Art) ahead of the exhibition "So Sorry", on October 8, 2009 in Munich, southern Germany. The "Remembering" is 100 meters long and 10m high and made of 9000 backpacks to remember the earthquake of Sichuan, China in 2008. Ai Weiwei's exhibition will be open for the public from October 12, 2009 to January 17, 2010. AFP PHOTO DDP / JOERG KOCH GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read JOERG KOCH/AFP/Getty Images)
Joerg Koch / DDP
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