Lego admits mistake in refusing bulk order for Ai Wei Wei

Friday, April 29, 2016
Lego admits mistake in refusing bulk order for Ai Wei Wei

Lego has released a statement claiming that their refusal to sell a bulk order to artist Ai Wei Wei was an ‘internal mistake’.

Lego admits mistake in refusing bulk order for Ai Wei Wei

Lego has released a statement claiming that their refusal to sell a bulk order to artist Ai Wei Wei was an ‘internal mistake’. 

According to the story posted by Ai Wei Wei on his Instagram account, he had requested a bulk order in June 2015, for an exhibition that was planned to be presented in Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria, last December.

Lego’s reply at the time stated: "We regret to inform you that it is against our corporate policy to indicate our approval of any unaffiliated activities outside the LEGO licensing program. (…) The LEGO trademark cannot be used commercially in any way to promote, or name, the art work.
The title of the artwork cannot incorporate the LEGO trademark.
We cannot accept that the motive(s) are taken directly from our sales material/copyrighted photo material.
The motive(s) cannot contain any political, religious, racist, obscene or defaming statements.
It must be clear to the public that the LEGO Group has not sponsored or endorsed the art work/project. Therefore I am very sorry to let you know that we are not in a position to support the exhibition Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei by supplying the bulk order."

Ai Wei Wei denounced this as “an act of censorship and discrimination”. After being refused by the company, the artist placed a call-out to fans, asking them to donate colourful building bricks – similar to Lego, but not of that brand - to carry out the exhibition as intended.

Now, Vice-Chairman of Lego, Kirk Kristiansen, has explained that it used to be company policy to ask customers to describe the “thematic purpose” for their bulk orders, in order to avoid affiliating the brand with specific agendas. In light of the controversy, the company updated their policy: customers must now simply make it clear that their project is not in any way endorsed by Lego, if exhibited in public. 

Source

Top image taken from Ai Wei Wei's instagram @aiww

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Yves Klein, IKB Godet, 1958, dry pigment, synthetic resin on gauze on panel. Private collection. ©Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

Yves Klein, IKB Godet, 1958, dry pigment, synthetic resin on gauze on panel. Private collection. ©Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

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