Beijing Police has told hundreds of artists living in the two art districts to move out because of the demolition that will be taking place at those places. The reason given by the Beijing Police to the artists is to stop organized crimes.
According to a report published by The Art Newspaper, Artists were given notice and a 7-day period where they were told to vacate the places or their places will be confiscated by the government. After that, Beijing Police in riot gear started escorting the artists out of their studios once the notice period ended.
This drive from the Beijing Police started on Wednesday, July 10 when authorities started evicting artists from Luomahu, or Roma Lake Art District. Yesterday, artists from the Huantie Art District were also evicted.
This move by the Chinese government is seen as a step to combat mafia activity in the city and the notices that were given to the artists claimed that there are “security problems” and “unstable factors” in the surroundings.
An artist named Canon Duan told TheArtNewspaper that “They are driving us all away on the excuse of cleaning up the underworld,” and claimed that “We’re not prepared at all. And no one has explained it to us.”
However, the interesting part about this whole situation is that the Artist Duan claims that they were investing in the neighbourhood as well as the rents were paid strictly on time too. Apart from that, there was no compensation offered to them for this sudden displacement by the local authorities.
This is definitely not the first time that the Chinese government has cracked down on Artists and Art Districts in the City. Earlier, the reason given to artists for the demolition process was to remove “illegal constructions” and carry out urban redevelopment. This time around, the authorities are giving the reason of solving organized crimes