Protester Smashes $1M Weiwei Vase in Miami Museum
Tells police he's angry that local artists don't get represented
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 17, 2014 5:09 PM CST
A 2013 file photo of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan, File)

(Newser) – A South Florida artist is facing a criminal charge after police say he smashed a $1 million vase at Miami's new art museum to protest what he called its favoritism for international rather than local art. Maximo Caminero, 51, was charged with criminal mischief after Sunday's incident at the Perez Art Museum Miami. A security guard told police that Caminero picked up a colored vase by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. When told to put it down, the security guard said Caminero smashed it on the floor.

Caminero told officers he broke the vase to protest the museum's lack of local artist displays and because "the museum only displayed international artists' art." Caminero, a painter who lives in Miami, said he will have an afternoon news conference tomorrow. The police affidavit lists the value of the vase as $1 million, quoting the museum's security officials. Criminal mischief can be a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison when the property damaged is worth more than $1,000.

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Showing 3 of 62 comments
VooDoo
Feb 18, 2014 4:01 PM CST
Insurance fraud.
HANKHILL
Feb 18, 2014 1:43 PM CST
yo maximo welcome to the nut of the week club! boy that is some 15min you got there pal!
Murahu
Feb 18, 2014 12:36 PM CST
Outrageous! The man is upset because the museum will not buy his art. So he decides to destroy what the museum chose to purchase and display. This i s not the way to become an art critic. He should be charged with extortion and other major felonies. I am not defending Wei's art. He is, I think a Chinese dissident, and the art purchase may have been made as a snub at the Chinese government and to encourage more dissent. But whatever, this destructive extortionists should be seen like a gang-land mobster and charged with heavy fines and long prison sentences.