“Frustrated artists protested in Beijing’s 789 Arts District last week, angry at the lock up of artist Xu Yong’s popular 798 Space gallery, as well as arbitrary rent hikes and illegal fees, all made as part of an apparent attempt by the authorities to drive artists out of the area,” writes the Epoch Times.
“Xu and the Seven Star Property Management Company have disputed the more than doubled rental increase since last year, and the management closed down the property just before the opening banquet the 5th European Union Film Festival, reported Global Times, a regime mouthpiece.
The company opened the property temporarily for the banquet, “But they didn’t open the door Saturday until I promised to give them all the proceeds from the banquet,” Xu said to the Chinese press.
He said this would be 70,000 yuan ($11,207) paid by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China for the venue. After the banquet, his studio was locked up, and the utilities were shut off.
This week, Xu was told that he had three days to remove everything.
Xu contends that he has made an effort to negotiate an agreement with the company and has attempted to pay rent according to the prior agreement, but has met with no success.”
Read on at the Epoch Times.
Image: 798 Space gallery, January 2009. Old Maoist slogans are visible on the ceiling arches.