Protestor Smashes $1M Ai Weiwei Vase at Miami Museum: Police

Vase worth $1 million destroyed by man who said he was protesting: Police

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014  |  Updated 2:20 AM EDT
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A man was arrested after police say he intentionally smashed a $1 million vase by renowned artist Ai Weiwei as part of a protest at a Miami art museum.

A man was arrested after police say he intentionally smashed a $1 million vase by renowned artist Ai Weiwei as part of a protest at a Miami art museum.

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A man was arrested after police say he intentionally smashed a $1 million vase by renowned artist Ai Weiwei as part of a protest at a Miami art museum.

Maximo Caminero, 51, was arrested for criminal mischief following the incident at Pérez Art Museum Miami Sunday, according to a Miami Police report.

According to the report, a security guard saw Caminero pick up the vase that was part of the exhibition and told him to put it down.

Caminero instead threw the vase to the ground, breaking it, the report said. The vase is worth $1 million, according to the report.

He later told an officer he broke the vase "in protest of local artists and that the museum only displayed international artists' art," the report said.

NBC 6 reached out to Caminero Monday, but he did not want to speak about what happened.

"Yesterday a museum visitor intentionally broke a vase in the Ai Weiwei exhibition," PAMM said in a statement Monday. "The museum’s security team immediately secured the galleries and the person was apprehended. He is now in police custody, and the museum is working with the authorities in their investigation.  However, the museum remains open and we look forward to continuing to welcome visitors from Miami and around the world."

PAMM added in a second statement later Monday, "As an art museum dedicated to celebrating modern and contemporary artists from within our community and around the world, we have the highest respect for freedom of expression, but this destructive act is vandalism and disrespectful to another artist and his work, to Pérez Art Museum Miami, and to our community."

Glenda Galan, who is a friend of Caminero, agrees local artists should be given more chances to show their work at the museum.

“Give them the opportunities in the museums, in the big galleries,” Galan said.

Local artist Andres Conde is a fan of Weiwei – and not of what Caminero allegedly did.

“What he did was basically shame, not just himself as an artist, but every artist that's trying to build something, trying to build a career,” Conde said.
 

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