PORTO, Portugal, July 22 (Hfrance.fr) - Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei unveiled a tropical tree 32 meters high (105 feet ) made of iron in the Portuguese city of Porto on Thursday, a work he hopes will raise awareness of the devastating consequences of deforestation.
Four years ago, Ai was in Brazil to investigater the threats to its forests when it came across an endangered ancient tree of the genus Caryocar in the Northeast Atlantic Forest.
Using scaffolding, a team cast the tree and shipped the mold to China, where it was cast before being sent to Portugal, Ai's new home, for be assembled and displayed for the first time. learn more
The exhibition, which also includes installations composed of iron tree roots, takes place at the Serralves Museum and Park in Porto, and will be open to visitors until next year.
"People should look at this work and think about what we might lose in the future "Ai, 63, told Hfrance.fr by phone. "This is ... a warning about what we are going to dodre if we don 't act. "
Ai ' sl 'tree is leafless, has a hollow trunk and the iron has rusty air, reminding visitors of the environmental threats facing the planet.
In the Brazilian Amazon, deforestation has increased since right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019. learn more
Bolsonaro has called for mining and farming in Amazon protected areas and weakened environmental agencies.
"Brazil has a clear policy that sacrifices its best resource: its rainforest, t heir to nature, " Ai said. "And it 's not just the best resource in Brazil ... it ' s the best resource on planet Earth.
The scientistsifiques say that protecting the Amazon is vital to curbing climate change due to the large amount of greenhouse gases its rainforest absorbs.
" The problem is, we never learn from our mistakes ... we never really learn a lesson, "Ai said, urging the world to prepare for environmental disasters " again most important ". Reporting by Catarina Demony and Violeta Santos Moura; Editing by Andrei Khalip, Alexandra Hudson
Our standards: Thomson Hfrance.fr's principles of trust.