Australia

Australia gallery collects Lego for Ai Weiwei

A man pours Lego into a car at a gallery in Australia Image copyright NGV Photographic Services
Image caption A car to collect Lego has been parked in the NGV's sculpture gallery

An Australian gallery has set up a collection point for Lego for a work by artist Ai Weiwei, after the Danish company refused a bulk order from him.

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) wants Australians to donate the toy bricks by pouring them through the sunroof of a car parked at the gallery.

It is hosting an exhibition by Ai and Andy Warhol in December.

Lego has said it has a long-standing policy not to provide its bricks for works making political statements.

Image copyright NGV photographic services
Image caption The gallery says the bricks collected will be used in a artwork by Ai

Ai is a high-profile critic of his home country, China. He has used Lego to create portraits of other famous dissidents, such as Nelson Mandela and Edward Snowden.

He has called Lego's decision not to sell him their product an "act of censorship and discrimination".

The NGV said its collection point was the first to be set up outside Beijing.

The bricks had been intended to be used for an installation at the gallery in Melbourne but the NGV said the donations would go "towards a new project being developed by the artist".

Ai has said he will set up further collection points in more cities after being inundated with offers of Lego bricks from supporters.

Image copyright NGV Photographic Services
Image caption The artist said he has been inundated with offers of bricks from supporters

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