"I am hopeful," said the Dalai Lama this weekend in response to a question posed by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, "Do you hope to return to your native land?"

Speaking to a crowd this weekend at the Beacon Theater in New York, the Dalai Lama expressed his wish to return to Tibet. "My desire to return is always there," the Dalai Lama said. His words were aired on a live stream of His Holiness the Dalai Lama New York City 2013 (HHDLNYC), an event where the Dalai Lama presented his teachings to New Yorkers.

Ai Weiwei re-tweeted the responses to his question, which the Dalai Lama answered on video.

RT @dgatterdam:  “@kunsangkelden: Great question from @aiww to @dalailama - Do you hope to return to your native land? #HHDLNYC

— 艾未未 Ai Weiwei (@aiww) October 21, 2013

RT @dgatterdam:  “@radicaldesi: My desire [to return to #Tibet] is always there #HHDLNYC @aiww

— 艾未未 Ai Weiwei (@aiww) October 21, 2013

I am crying. MT @MollieRodriguez: "I am hopeful" @DalaiLama answering @aiww's query: Do u think u'll ever return to ur native land? #HHDLNYC

— mindoca (@mindoca) October 20, 2013

Ai Weiwei's art often addresses authority and injustice in China, and this is not the first time he has made comments about Tibet. In May, he posted a video to YouTube that showed a violent fight between Han Chinese and Tibetan street vendors. Also, he created cover art for a book on self-immolations in Tibet called Immolations in Tibet: The Shame of the World, written by Tibetan poet Tsering Woeser, that was published in French on Thursday.

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