Chinese artist Ai Weiwei poses for photographers in front of the portraits.
The installation features large portraits of the students made from a million multi-colored Legos that hover above a cavernous exhibit space, images that have become seared into the Mexican conscience by grieving family members who often hoist posters with the same images at protests demanding answers for their sons' disappearance.
Entitled "Reestablishing Memories," the work also features a timeline of the 2014 abduction of the trainee-teachers from the all-boys Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College in southern Mexico and the government's widely disparaged investigation into the case.
"Why do we have to do it? Because every crime creates a vacuum and it poisons society," Ai told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.
Known for his criticism of Communist-run China's stifling of free expression, Ai said his latest project was partially inspired by the Chinese government's refusal to explain its errors following a massive 2008 earthquake in Sichuan in which thousands of students died in government-built schools.
An initial Mexican government investigation found that the Ayotzinapa students were abducted by corrupt police who handed them over to a local drug gang. The gang then killed them for reasons that remain unclear and burnt their bodies in a trash dump, discarding the ashes into a nearby river, it concluded.
But the account was tainted by allegations of torture and the possible involvement of soldiers.
"It reminded me of the Mexicans who lost their children.
To date, the remains of just one student have been identified.
Ai, who was detained by the Chinese government in 2011 and currently lives in Berlin, supervised the creation of the oversized Lego portraits by students from Mexico's National Autonomous University (UNAM).
Last year, Ai accused Lego of refusing to directly sell its interlocking plastic toy bricks to him.
The Danish company said its policy was designed to keep it out of politics, but later reversed its stand in the face of a public backlash.
"Reestablishing Memories," which is paired with Ai's earlier "Wang Family Ancestral Hall" installation, opens on Saturday on the UNAM campus in Mexico City, and will be on display through October.
A Canadian artist is building a wall of cheese near the border that separates the US and Mexico in Tecate, California, as a way of denouncing the "waste" represented by the barrier that American President Donald Trump wants to construct.
Researchers at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence have proved what was suspected for a long time: that Renaissance genius Leonardo Da Vinci was able to write, draw and paint with both hands.
The high-tech future of green jobs and the Gandhian virtue of the dignity of work meld their messages on a six-storey high mural commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the centenary of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
"Letters from Hollywood: Inside the Private World of Classic American Moviemaking," published by Abrams, compiled and edited by Rocky Lang and Barbara Hall.
The Norman Lykes House in Phoenix, the last residential property Wright worked on, will be up for bid on Oct. 16, according to Heritage Auctions. There will be no minimum starting bid required, the Auction house said in a news release.
The organization said Friday that Andrews will receive the award at the Gala Tribute on April 25 in Los Angeles. It will be broadcast on TNT.