China Returns Passport to Artist, Critic Ai Weiwei

This handout picture released by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei on July 22, 2015 shows Ai Weiwei posing with his passport in Beijing.

Four years after his passport was seized by Beijing authorities, Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei has gotten it back.

The 57-year-old artist and government critic made the announcement Wednesday on the social media site Instagram, posting a photo of himself holding up the document, with a simple caption reading "Today, I received a passport." He offered no explanation as to why his passport was given back to him.

Ai Weiwei said he would like to travel to Germany, but it is uncertain how long it will be before he can travel outside of China.

His passport was taken from him in 2011 when he was arrested and detained for nearly three months. He was later fined $2.4 million for tax evasion, which he says was leveled against him because of his outspoken criticism of the ruling Communist government.

Ai Weiwei rose to international prominence after designing Beijing's Bird Nest Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games.