Thursday 12 July 2012

Government of Taiwan Sued for Allegedly Breaching Contract with Artist

The president of Taiwan as well as another local official for Kinmen County, have been sued by an expatriate Chinese artist for breach of contract.  The complaint also names an unknown number of John and Jane Does.  The case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Artist Weiming Chen, now a resident of the United States, claims that the President of Taiwan succumbed to political pressures from mainland China that caused the Taiwanese government to breach its contract with Chen.  The artist alleges that on January 17, 2012, he entered into a contract with the government of Taiwan to create a 32-meter tall sculpture on Kinmen island, a few miles off mainland China.  The island was under military administration for many years and is historically significant as the site of intense battles between Taiwan and mainland forces.  The statue was to face the mainland and was to echo the spirit of New York's Statue of Liberty as well as the Goddess of Democracy statue formerly situated in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.  The original Goddess was fabricated out of foam and papier-mâché by students during the protests which took place in the spring of 1989 and was demolished by the military during the infamous suppression on June 4, 1989.  Replicas of the Goddess are now situated around the world.

The colorfully-worded complaint was filed on July 5, 2012 and requests millions of dollars in punitive damages for civil conspiracy, breach of contract, and interference with business relations.  The artist also seeks the right to build the statue.  The Taiwanese government has yet to respond to the artist's allegations.

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