The Museum of Cycladic Art (MCA) in Athens presents a major exhibition with Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. Ai Weiwei at Cycladic is the artist’s first exhibition within an archeological museum and in the country of Greece. This exhibition introduces audiences to his practice through many of his significant works, placing them within the museums renowned collection. Ai Weiwei also unveils new works inspired by the permanent archeological collection of the museum.

The exhibition explores the artisti’s use of materials often associated with antiquity such as marble, as well as the craftsmanship and traditional techniques of wood. Through Ai Weiwei creates dialogue with ancient Cycladic art, giving poignancy to the display in an archeological museum.

The 25 artworks on display include celebrated works Grapes (2011), Divina Proportione (2012), Mask (2011), Cao (2014), as well as a new, unseen work inspired by the museum’s significant archeological collection.

Ai Weiwei’s collaboration with the MCA begun in 2015 and following the Museum’s invitation, the artist visited Athens as well as the island of Lesbos. He has since set up a studio on the island to create art that will draw attention to the refugee crisis in Greece. A number of new works will feature in Ai Weiwei at Cycladic, creating a true cross-cultural depiction of past, present and a universal hope for the future.

The MCA will be donating 10% of all exhibition proceeds to two NGOs; Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Greek NGO METAdrasi, who are providing valuable aid to the refugee crisis in Greece.


Ai Weiwei at Cycladic

Dates: 20th May – 30th October 2016

Admission: €7
Cycladic Friends: Admission Free

Opening Hours: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat: 10.00-17.00
Thu: 10.00-20.00
Sun: 11.00-17.00
Tue: closed

Location: Museum of Cycladic Art (MCA)
4, Neofytou Douka str. / Vas. Sophias & Irodotou 1
Athens, Greece

Exhibition Halls:
Stathatos Mansion
Permanent Collections
Dolly Goulandris Wing

T: (+30) 210 7228321-3

‘I feel like I have a duty is not to politicize,

but to humanise through my artwork.’

About Ai Weiwei

Born in Beijing in 1957, Ai Weiwei is one of the most significant and outspoken artists to emerge from China in recent decades. As an artist, architect, writer, filmmaker and political activist, he has been highly and openly critical of the Chinese government’s stance on democracy and human rights. He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, as well as the quality of human life in modern-day China. In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing Capital International Airport on 3 April, he was held for 81 days without any official charges being filed; officials alluded to their allegations of “economic crimes”. Upon his release, he was prohibited from traveling abroad, engaging in public speech, and was subjected to continued government surveillance. His passport was eventually returned to him in 2015.

Ai Weiwei is best known for his sculptures and large-scale installations, which conceptually marry traditional Chinese craft and modes of thought with contemporary political messages. In his sculptural works he often uses reclaimed materials such as ancient pottery, wood from destroyed temples, marble and jade, uniting past and present; the old China and the new. As well as engaging in many long-term research projects such as his ‘Citizens’ Investigation’ into the Sichuan Earthquake victims in 2008, Ai also served as artistic consultant on the design of the National “Bird’s Nest” Stadium for Beijing’s 2008 Olympics and has had major exhibitions and pavilions all around the world.

‘I think the real borders are not physical,

but rather the ones that are in our hearts and minds.’


‘If my art has nothing to do with people’s

pain and sorrow, what is ‘art’ for?’

‘The issue of human rights is an abstract and universal concept.

Borders cannot control my consideration for these issues.’

‘I call on people to be obsessed citizens,

forever questioning and asking for accountability’


May 23, 2016

Artist Ai WeiWei decries Europe’s “shameful” refugee crisis

May 19, 2016

Ai Weiwei unveils new works highlighting plight of refugees

May 24, 2016

Grand statements: Ai Weiwei unveils new works at Athens’ Cycladic Art Museum

April 07, 2016

Cycladic to Present Ai Weiwei’s First Exhibition in Greece

April 06, 2016

Ai Weiwei’s first show in Greece will aid refugees

April 08, 2016

Ai Weiwei’s first exhibition in Greece is going to actually help refugees

April 08, 2016

Ai Weiwei to present first solo show in Greece at Cycladic Art Museum

April 12, 2016

Online Magazine

‘Death is not horrible, but the real horror

lies in misinterpreting its significance.’


‘I think that fighting is a symptom of life. For every life form

or species, the effort to make changes requires a level of fighting.’


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Exhibition Benefactors

Karolos & Maria Athina Fix

Nicolai Frahm

Panos & Sandra Marinopoulos

Roberto & Mary Ellen Marziale

Nikos & Titina Pateras

Loulou Zein

Exhibition Donors

Maria & Errikos Arones

Vasilis & Sophia Bacolitsas

Milos & Kathryn Brajovic

John & Dimitri Chandris

Marietta Chandris

Dimitris & Areti Dalakouras

Christos Economou

Katherine Embiricos

Eurobulk Ltd

Dafni Fourli

Nikolas & Eleni Martinos

Andreas Melas

Paraskevas Law Firm

Dr Jacques Seguin

Nikos & Nineta Vafias

Andreas Vourekas Petalas
& Family

Torben Wind

Exhibition Friends

Gabriella Abdelnour

Stelios Atlamazoglou

John Coustas

Kassian Maritime

Kostas & Christiana Kessaris

Jean Jacques & Maria Klauss

Aliki-Marcadia Lampropoulos

Andreas Lehmann

Alexander Lewis

George & Nitzia Logothetis

Evelyn Macha

Irene Panagopoulos

Maya & Ramzy Rasamny

Marianna Stafylopati

Takis & Nadia Theocharakis

Philippos Tsangrides

Alexander Vourekas Petalas

Contemporary Art Support Committee

Nadia Eliopoulos

Areti Dalakouras

Dimitris Daskalopoulos

Polys & Rosemarie Haji-ioannou

Marily Frangista

Dakis Joannou

Xenia Kokotou Pitta

Sophie Koutalidi

Sandra Marinopoulos

Alexandra Martinou

Melina Travlos

Dimitris Passas

Titina Pateras

Nikos & Nineta Vafias

Exhibition Team

Michael Frahm

Contemporary art program advisor
Aphrodite Gonou

Exhibition management
Maria Basagianni / Antonia Jolles

Exhibition team
Eugenia Christodoulakos
Lida Karanikolou
Christina Koratzani
Aliki-Marcadia Lampropoulos
Atalanti Martinou
Andreas Melas
Stella Tsagkaraki

Ai Weiwei Studio
Frahm Group, London

Technical support
Ballian Techniki S.A.

Tony Moser

Graphic Design