Fla. artist smashes $1M vase in Miami museum

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Miami Artist Smashes $1M Vase
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Fla. artist smashes $1M vase in Miami museum
In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 photo, is the Perez Art Museum Miami, in Miami. The museum was designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect firm Herzog & de Meuron who took pains to design both an airy and hurricane resistant building with a wide wraparound deck. Massive columns with shrubbery hang like an enchanted forest. The museum, called the PAMM by locals, opened in December and is becoming a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike with its eclectic and provocative collection. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 photo, Thom Collins, director of the Perez Art Museum Miami, is shown during an interview at the museum in Miami. The museum, called the PAMM by locals, opened in December and is becoming a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike with its eclectic and provocative collection. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 photo, Chief Curator Tobias Ostrander, is shown at the Perez Art Museum Miami, in Miami. The museum, called the PAMM by locals, opened in December and is becoming a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike with its eclectic and provocative collection. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 photo, museum goers look at a piece on the wall titled "Wake and Wonder " by artist Adrian Esparza, who literally deconstructs the cliche Mexican serape and repurposes it into a vast, geometric weaving, at the Perez Art Museum Miami, in Miami. The museum, called the PAMM by locals, opened in December and is becoming a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike with its eclectic and provocative collection. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 photo, a piece titled "Mujer con Pez" by the late Cuban Avant-garde painter Amelia Pelaez, appears on display at the Perez Art Museum Miami, in Miami. The museum, called the PAMM by locals, opened in December. This is one of the most popular initial exhibits by an artist revered in Miami's Cuban community. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 photo, Chief Curator Tobias Ostrander, right, stands next to a piece made of sheets of colored and mirrored formica by artist Julia Dault, at the Perez Art Museum Miami, in Miami. The museum, called the PAMM by locals, opened in December and is becoming a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike with its eclectic and provocative collection. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Steel rebar in a piece titled "Straight" by the Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei, is on display at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Miami. The new building on Biscayne Bay was designed by Herzog and de Meuron, and the opening was scheduled to coincide with Art Basel in Miami Beach taking place Dec. 5-8. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
A woman walks past an installation by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei titled "Moon Chest", featuring seven chests made from huali wood, as part of the inaugural exhibit at the Perez Art Museum Miami, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Miami. The new building on Biscayne Bay was designed by Herzog and de Meuron, and the opening was scheduled to coincide with Art Basel in Miami Beach taking place Dec. 5 to Dec. 8. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 photo, a piece titled "He Xie" featuring 3,200 porcelain crabs, by the Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei, is on display at the Perez Art Museum Miami in Miami. The museum, called PAMM by locals, which opened in December, still lacks a permanent blockbuster, but its retrospective of Ai, on display through mid-March of 2014, should temporarily satisfy. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
A sculpture by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei titled "Grapes", featuring 40 antique wooden stools from the Qing Dynasty, is on display as part of the inaugural exhibit at the Perez Art Museum Miami, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Miami. The new building on Biscayne Bay was designed by Herzog and de Meuron, and the opening was scheduled to coincide with Art Basel in Miami Beach taking place Dec. to Dec. 8. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 photo, museum goers view a piece titled "Stacked" featuring a maze of hundreds of bicycle wheels by the Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei at the Perez Art Museum Miami in Miami. The museum, called PAMM by locals, which opened in December, still lacks a permanent blockbuster, but its retrospective of Ai, on display through mid-March of 2014, should temporarily satisfy. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
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MIAMI (AP) - A South Florida artist is facing a criminal charge after police say he smashed a $1 million vase at Miami's new art museum in what appears to be a form of protest.

$1M Ai Weiwei Vase Smashed By Protester
Maximo Caminero, 51, was charged with criminal mischief after Sunday's incident at the Perez Art Museum Miami. According to a Miami Police Department arrest affidavit, a security guard told officers 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.

A police affidavit says Caminero told officers he broke the vase to protest the museum's lack of local artist displays. Caminero, a painter who lives in Miami, declined comment when reached by telephone Monday. He said he will have an afternoon news conference Tuesday.

"I'm going to answer all the questions," he said.

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.

Caminero had a recent showing at the JF Gallery in West Palm Beach that offered a patrons a chance to meet him and "view a sampling of the work from his 30-year career as an artist."

According to PAMM's web site, the vase is one of more than a dozen that are part of a floor installation. Each vase is partially painted in bright colors.

Behind the installation are a series of three black-and-white photos showing Ai holding a vase and then letting it drop to the ground, smashing into pieces.

The Ai Weiwei: According to What? exhibit runs through March 16 at the museum. Museum officials did not immediately respond Monday to emails seeking comment.

A sculptor, designer and documentary-maker, Ai has irked Beijing by using his art and online profile to draw attention to injustices in China and the need for greater transparency and rule of law. He was detained for 81 days in 2011 during crackdown on dissent,

After his release in June 2011, Ai's design firm was slapped with a $2.4 million tax bill, which he fought unsuccessfully in the Chinese courts.
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