Thursday 19 January 2017

Lego changes policy on sales of large numbers of bricks

Published 13/01/2016 | 10:56

A person deposits some Lego into a BMW car in central London, during a photocall for an art project by Ai Weiwei in October 2015
A person deposits some Lego into a BMW car in central London, during a photocall for an art project by Ai Weiwei in October 2015

Lego has changed its policy of asking customers who buy very large amounts of its bricks what they intend to do with them.

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The turnaround, posted on Lego's website, comes after Chinese artist Ai Weiwei accused the company of censorship in October when it refused to sell bricks directly to him.

At the time Lego said its policy was to decline such requests if it believed the bricks would be used to make a political statement.

But in the new statement, Lego said it had "adjusted" its guidelines.

It said: "Previously, when asked to sell very large quantities of Lego bricks for projects, the Lego Group has asked about the thematic purpose of the project. This has been done as the purpose of the Lego Group is to inspire children through creative play, not to actively support or endorse specific agendas of individuals or organisations.

"However, those guidelines could result in misunderstandings or be perceived as inconsistent, and the Lego Group has therefore adjusted the guidelines for sales of Lego bricks in very large quantities."

Instead, customers who intend to display their Lego creations in public will be asked to make it clear that the company does not support or endorse the specific projects.

Ai, a political activist and one of the world's leading contemporary artists, is known for his criticism of the Chinese government.

He ended up using bricks donated to him by the public for an exhibition about human rights in Melbourne, Australia.

Ai appeared to respond to Lego's decision by posting a picture on Instagram of a young boy sticking bricks on to his face, accompanied by a grinning emoji caption.

Press Association

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