An artist’s compound was knocked down last week by the Shanghai authorities that led to a stand-off resulting in a few minor injuries.
Yuan Gong Art Garage was previously part of a 6,000-square-meter facility that houses design firms, restaurants, bars and spas. Its forced demolition highlights the challenges cities face as a constant pressure for greater urbanization overlaps with dissatisfied citizens.
The local authorities contacted Mr. Yuan last year about demolishing part of the property to build a new road into the area that houses a large expat community and higher income earners and is near L’Avenue, a luxury mall.
Mr. Yuan rushed to his art garage on Thursday only to find 100 men in black knocking down part of the four-story building near the entrance, and he described:
“There were three exchanges regarding compensation but there wasn’t any agreement,”
Zheng Kunhong , who manages the Japanese restaurant Aobara, near the entrance of the compound also commented on the demolition:
“I was very upset. I have stopped business for three days and I lose around 20,000 Yuan every day we don’t open for business.The thugs were right outside my restaurant telling customers not to come in, it’s intimidation.”
This isn’t the first time that such a demolition has happened in Shanghai. In January 2011, a $1 million art centre built by dissident/artist/etc. Ai Weiwei was also demolished by authorities.
By Sam Canpadee
[Image credit: @johnas]