China demands Brescia pull dissident's art show

Mayor refuses to stop Badiucao exhibit going ahead

(ANSA) - ROME, OCT 22 - China has demanded that Brescia pull an art show by a prominent Chinese dissident artist known as 'the Chinese Banksy'.
    The show by Badiucao, entitled 'China Is (Not) Near' runs in the northern city until February next year and is expected to include criticism of the Chinese government.
    The Chinese embassy in Italy sent Brescia city council a message Thursday evening saying "the show's works are full of anti-Chinese lies, they twist the facts, spreading false information, mislead the Italian people's understanding and seriously damage the feelings of the Chinese people jeopardising the friendly relations between China and Italy.
    Shanghai born Badiucao, who works in exile in Australia, has slammed the Chinese government for its handling of the COVID crisis and has previously criticised the treatment of the Uighur ethnic minority as well as violations of human rights and the crackdown on Hong Kong.
    Brescia Mayor Emilio Del Bono, of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), said "cancelling the show is out of the question".
    The rightwing opposition Brothers of Italy (FdI) party called on the Italian government to summon the Chinese ambassador and "explain to him that art is free in Italy and so must it remain; Beijing must stop with its economic and cultural meddling.
    "Mayor Del Bono was right to return to sender all undue pressure," said FdI House culture committee whip Andrea Dalmastro delle Vedove and Brescia councillor Giangiacomo Calovini. (ANSA).


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