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Slideshow: Inside Ai Weiwei's 'Zodiac Heads'




Ai Weiwei's 'Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads,' now on view at the Pulitzer Fountain outside the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan until July 15, 2011. (Shreeya Sinha/Asia Society)

Ai Weiwei's 'Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads,' now on view at the Pulitzer Fountain outside the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan until July 15, 2011. (Shreeya Sinha/Asia Society)

It's been over a month since influential Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained by the Chinese government. The first time anybody heard from him was yesterday, when his wife was allowed to visit him in Beijing. Lu Qing told Associated Press, "He seemed conflicted, contained, his face was tense."

The artist missed the opening of his outdoor installation, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, in New York on May 5th. In the multimedia piece below, Asia Society Museum Director Melissa Chiu walks listeners through the history of the 12 zodiac heads. Five were lost in 1860 when they were looted by British and French troops, and the other seven have sparked a bitter mission by the Chinese government to bring them back. Click here to see our complete coverage of Ai Weiwei. 

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