There's an important reason why a Berlin concert hall has been covered in life jackets

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Sunday 14 February 2016 11:50

Chinese artist and political activist Ai WeiWei has been a vocal critic of European governments' lacklustre response to the refugee crisis.

He recently set up a studio on the Greek island of Lesbos, which has been the gateway into Europe for hundreds of thousands of people making the dangerous crossing from the Mediterranean.

As part of an ongoing series about the plight of refugees, the 58-year-old artist has taken 14,000 life jackets abandoned on the island's beaches and strung them around the columns of Berlin's world famous Konzerthaus:

Last year, more than one million people fleeing war and persecution in Syria, Afghanistan and further afield were thought to have made dangerous journeys by sea and overland to Europe.

More than 400 people have already died trying to make the perilous sea crossing so far in 2016.

Last month Ai WeiWei pulled out of a planned show in Denmark in protest against a recently passed law which allows the state to confiscate refugees' valuables as part payment for asylum seek services.

(Picture: ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

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