Ai Weiwei, the once-jailed dissident who was served notice for $2.4 million dollars in tax fines by China, has been getting a flood of donations (some in paper airplane form) to help pay off the steep bill, the artist told multiple news outlets. "More than 20,000 people have together contributed at least $840,000 since Tuesday, when tax officials gave Mr. Ai 15 days to come up with an amount that was more than three times the sum he was accused of evading in taxes," The New York Times reported, noting that the artist only wanted to accept smaller donations and deemed the money "as loans that he will repay."
The contributions, as Agence France-Presse reports, have been through online bank transfers and even from people throwing money over the wall of his courtyard. "Every morning we have to pick up the money thrown into the courtyard. Sometimes they are folding it into planes or boats," Ai Weiwei was quoted saying by the AFP. Unfortunately, it seems unclear if this show of support may hit another roadblock, as BBC News notes: "An editorial in China's English-language Global Times newspaper cited unnamed experts as saying the artist could be accused of 'illegal fundraising.'"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.