Ai Weiwei undergoing Surgery in Munich


Ai Weiwei is (or has) reportedly (been) undergoing cranial surgery in Munich, Germany, after a scuffle with police in Chengdu in August. Ai had been arrested in his hotel room in Chengdu back then, where he prepared to attend a trial against Tan Zuoren, who had investigated the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, according to the Time China Blog. At the time of his arrest, Ai was  – also reportedly – told by police that “if we need, we can beat you to death”.

Joel Martinsen at Danwei quotes Ethan Zuckerman as wondering how reliable the information about Ai’s surgery and its connection with his arrest in Chengdu last month is. From another source, Ai’s assistent is quoted as saying that

Ai had been suffering from a headache ever since the violent encounter with the Chengdu police a month ago. It had gotten serious all of a sudden today, and a medical checkup in German had determined that “trauma-induced hemorrhage between the brain and skull” (重挫造成的外颅与脑体间大面积出血, epidural hematoma, perhaps), and the doctors told him to have surgery immediately.

Adam Cathcart picked up a photo from Twitter which apparently shows Ai in Munich University Hospital.

Ai Weiwei stays in Munich as a guest of Haus der Kunst, and arrived there Saturday night. A Haus der Kunst blog also carries some photographs from after his arrival. No mention of a surgery has apparently been made on the organization’s website so far.

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