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. (Read more Maximo Caminero stories.)

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