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Ai Weiwei plans escape to Alcatraz

The Chinese dissident artist is in talks with officials to stage a show at the former high-security prison island in the San Francisco Bay

The Chinese artist’s travel ban could prevent him from visiting “The Rock”. Photo: D Ramey Logan

The Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei is proposing to stage his next major exhibition on Alcatraz Island, the home of the former high-security prison in the San Francisco Bay. The National Park Service, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and other agencies that oversee the historic site are reviewing the project, details of which are yet to be confirmed. If all goes to plan, the show could be approved as early as next month and go on view in autumn 2014.

“We are engaged in the process of compliance,” says Alison Konecki, a development associate for the For-Site Foundation, the San Francisco-based non-profit that is organising the show and liaising with Ai in Beijing. For-Site’s executive director, Cheryl Haines, who has been showing the artist’s work in her San Francisco gallery since 2008, declined to give further details. Representatives of the National Park Service could not be reached for comment because of the US government shutdown.

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