After 4 years, Chinese authorities return passport to artist Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei

Source: Los Angeles Times

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei regained his passport on Wednesday, more than four years after it was seized by authorities apparently in retaliation for his social and political activism.

Ai posted a selfie to Instagram at about 3 p.m. local time, holding his red People’s Republic of China passport up to the camera. “Today, I picked up my passport,” he wrote in a caption. The post has received more than 1,200 “likes” and nearly 200 comments, most of them supportive, as of press time.

“This morning I was notified to go to the border control office,” Ai said in an email. “There at the office, I received my passport back and verbal permission to say that my right to travel abroad was restored.

Ai Weiwei pondering freedoms in Alcatraz show — from China

“I was always very positive about my situation,” he said. “I did sense that it would happen one day, but, of course, that day could have been very distant.”