United Kingdom’s Tate Gallery buys 8 million Ai Weiwei sunflower seeds for an undisclosed amount

LONDON (AP).- Britain’s Tate gallery has bought a work by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei made up of 8 million porcelain sunflower seeds — a portion of the 100 million he brought to London in 2010. Tate said Monday that it had purchased “Sunflower Seeds 2010” — 10 cubic meters (13 cubic yards) of seeds, hand-crafted by Chinese artisans, which can be displayed either as a conical pile or as a square or rectangular bed. The gallery did not disclose the price. Last year Sotheby’s auction house sold a 100 kilogram (220 pound) bag of the seeds for 350,000 pounds ($550,000). In 2010, Ai covered the floor of a 1,000 sq. meter (10,000 sq. foot) hall at London’s Tate Modern with almost 100 million of the seeds. Visitors were initially invited to walk or lie on them, but after a few days the ceramic dust was judged a health hazard and the exhibit was cordoned off. It still proved a hugely popular show. The gallery said the seeds, a common Chinese street snack, represented