Mayor Michael Bloomberg Opens Exhibit by Detained Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei

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NEW YORK (AP).- New York’s art community and Mayor Michael Bloomberg honored detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei on Wednesday, unveiling his giant bronze sculpture installation even as he remains imprisoned in his homeland amid a recent crackdown on dissent. “Artists risk everything to create,” Bloomberg said, standing before the 12 animal heads rising from Manhattan’s Pulitzer Fountain. “But artists like Ai Weiwei, who come from places that do not value and protect free speech, risk even more than that.” The mayor said Ai’s willingness to take risks speaks to his courage, “but also to the indomitable desire for freedom that is inside every human being.” Hundreds of lawyers, activists, and other intellectuals