Dissident Chinese artist and one our Buro 24/7 Middle East art crushes, Ai Weiwei, has had his passport returned to him after Chinese authorities confiscated it four years ago. The artist was arrested back in 2011 and held without charge for 81 days, and has not seen his passport since. Until today. 

Finally allowed to leave the country, Ai says that his first stop will be a trip to Berlin to visit his son who lives there. He said that the return of his passport was a "very relaxed" affair and he has taken it to mean that "there aren't any problems".

This means that we can hopefully look forward to more international exhibitions, starting with a landmark solo exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in September, with a personal visit from the artist: "This is wonderful news for Ai Weiwei, his family and for artists worldwide," said Tim Marlow, artist director and co-curator of the exhibition at the Royal Academy. "We are delighted to announce that he will be joining us as we finalise the installation of his exhibition." Hurrah! This is wonderful news indeed, for Ai Weiwei, his family, and his many many art fans.