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Beijing bans Mao created by Warhol

Published time: December 18, 2012 14:37
Edited time: December 18, 2012 18:37
A painting by Andy Warhol entitled "Mao" (Reuters / Alessia Pierdomenico)

A painting by Andy Warhol entitled "Mao" (Reuters / Alessia Pierdomenico)

China has banned the iconic images of Communist leader Chairman Mao from an exhibition of Andy Warhol’s work which is travelling the country.

­The show spotlights 300 paintings, photographs and films, and ten Mao paintings which the local authorities have decided to exclude, Bloomberg reported.

“They said the Maos won’t work,” the director of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Eric Shiner, explained in Hong Kong. “This is disappointing because his imagery is so mainstream in Chinese contemporary art,” he added.

The idea to create a series of Mao paintings came to Warhol after President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China, in 1972.

The pop artist used the same technique of acrylic and silkscreen on canvas that he had also used in his signature portraits of Jackie Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor.

Warhol fans eager to see the founding father of the People's Republic of China still have a chance to do so if they catch the Hong Kong leg of the

“Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal” exhibition which opened earlier this week.

It will run through the end of March at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. It will later travel to Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Warhol’s death.

The exhibition first opened in Singapore, where it proved a sweeping success, visited by up to 175,000 people – more than the 120,000 annual visitors to the Pittsburgh museum.