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Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 12:21 GMT
Spyplane art banned by China
A US Navy EP-3 spyplane
The artwork was based on the US spyplane which crashed in China
Chinese authorities have banned an artwork depicting a US Navy spyplane that collided with a Chinese jet from an exhibition in southern China.

Culture officials banned the work - a 50-foot long piece depicting part of the stricken EP-3 plane - from an exhibition of new Chinese artists at the Guangdong Province Art Museum.

Artist Huang Yongping, who created the artwork, has accused officials of bowing to US pressure.

But the US Embassy in Beijing has denied any involvement.


It's just an artwork, a plane model - I didn't mean to hint at something or hurt anybody

Huang Yongping

"At no time did the US Consulate or US Embassy ask the Chinese authorities to dismantle the EP-3 sculpture," an Embassy spokesperson said.

The spyplane was forced to make an emergency landing on the Chinese island of Hainan after colliding with a Chinese fighter jet early last year.

The Chinese warplane crashed into the sea and its pilot was reported missing, presumed dead.
The crew of the plane returning to the US
The crew of the plane were held in China for 11 days

The 24-man crew of the Navy aircraft spent 11 days under custody before being returned to the US. The plane was later dismantled and sent back to the US.

Huang was told on Friday that the artwork would not be shown. Museum staff then destroyed it, he said.

"The whole process of the incident was very dramatic," Huang said. "It inspired me," he said. "It's just an artwork, a plane model. I didn't mean to hint at something or hurt anybody."

Dali

The incident has been seen as the latest wrangle between a new wave of Chinese artists and a Communist government uneasy with their work.

China has recently opened up to Western art that was formerly banned for showing decadent or offensive themes.

A recent exhibition of celebrated Spanish artist Salvador Dali's work drew thousands of visitors.

China's government has been trying to raise the profile of China's fine art, opera and high-brow artistic forms as the country's economic development gathers pace.

See also:

13 Nov 02 | England
04 Jul 02 | Scotland
21 Jun 02 | Entertainment
10 May 01 | Entertainment
29 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
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