Lego has refused to send Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei a bulk order of its toy bricks, the artist claims, because it "cannot approve the use of Legos for political works." The artist condemns the Danish toymakers' decision, calling the incident "an act of censorship and discrimination."
Ai Weiwei, who is known for his criticism of the Chinese government's iron-fisted censorship, said in an Instagram post on Friday 23 October planned to use the Lego in an artistic piece on free speech called "Andy Warhol / Ai Weiwei" which was to be displayed Australia's National Gallery of Victoria later this year.
"As a powerful corporation, Lego is an influential cultural and political actor in the globalized economy with questionable values," he wrote in a second instagram post on Saturday accompanied by a photo of Lego bricks in a toilet.
Earlier this year, the toymaker refused a submission for a custom set to journalist Maia Weinstock's project to celebrate the female justices of the US supreme court, according to the Guardian.
"We acknowledge, that LEGO bricks today are used globally by millions of fans, adults, children and artists as a creative medium to express their imagination and creativity in many different ways," wrote Lego spokesman Roar Rude Trangbæk to the The Huffington Post.
"As a company dedicated to delivering great creative play experiences to children, we refrain - on a global level - from actively engaging in in or endorsing the use of LEGO bricks in projects or contexts of a political agenda. This principle is not new."
Masses of fans of the contemporary artist are already offering their support by taking to social media offering to send their own collection of Lego report The Guardian.