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Ai Weiwei vase worth $1 million smashed by protesting Florida artist

Maximo Caminero told police that he smashed the vase "in protest."
Posted By Kate Stanton   |   Feb. 17, 2014 at 9:43 PM   |   Comments

MIAMI, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, whose art often aims to highlight political and social injustice, knows a thing or two about protest. But his own work drew a protest at Perez Art Museum in Miami on Sunday.

Authorities said that local artist Maximo Caminero, 51, destroyed a vase that was part of Ai Weiwei's exhibit. The vase, believed to be about 7,000 years old, is worth up to $1 million.

According to a police report, Caminero picked up the vase in front of a security guard. He refused to put it down. He said later that he dropped in on the ground, where it shattered, "in protest of local artists and that the museum only displayed international artists' art."

"Yesterday a museum visitor intentionally broke a vase in the Ai Weiwei exhibition," said Leann Standish, deputy director of the Miami Art Museum, said in a statement. "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."

Caminero has been charged with criminal mischief.

[CBS Local, NBC Miami]

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Topics: Ai Weiwei
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