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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei posing as Alan Kurdi, dead on a beach, angers the world
Postmedia Network and The Associated Press
First posted: Monday, February 01, 2016 06:50 PM EST | Updated: Monday, February 01, 2016 06:56 PM EST
NEW DELHI -- A Chinese artist famous for drawing attention to human rights abuses has angered the world after recreating the image of little Alan Kurdi dead on a Turkish beach in a self-portrait.
Ai Weiwei posed himself lying face-down on a beach. The black-and-white photo was initially published in one of India's largest English-language news magazines, India Today, and is now hanging at an art fair in New Delhi.
Ai intended for the photo to be a powerful statement. But it's been mostly met with outrage.
London art writer Niru Ratnam (external - login to view) called the piece "crude, thoughtless and egotistical."
And that was among the nicer comments. Posters on social media and comments boards have accused Ai of self-promotion.
The photo last year of the drowned boy was widely seen as the devastating human face of the refugee crisis in Europe.
The three-year-old's aunt and uncle live in British Columbia, where Alan's Syrian refugee family had hoped to join them.
Ai is famous for works addressing human rights abuses and official corruption.
He 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.
The India Art Fair, where the photo is now hanging, called it a "haunting" image.
"It is very political, human and involves an incredibly important artist like Ai Weiwei," Sandy Angus, co-owner of India Art Fair, told the Washington Post (external - login to view). "The image is haunting and represents the whole immigration crisis and the hopelessness of the people who have tried to escape their pasts for a better future."
This Jan. 25, 2016, image provided by the India Today news magazine shows Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei posing as he lies face down on the beach on the Greek island of Lesbos. Chinese artist 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. (Rohit Chawla/India Today via AP)

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei posing as Alan Kurdi, dead on a beach, angers the world