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Artist Facing Criminal Charge After Smashing $1 Million Vase In Museum

A Florida artist is facing a criminal charge after smashing a $1 million vase at Miami's art museum as a form of protest.

Maximo Caminero, 51, has been charged with criminal mischief after Sunday's incident at the Perez Art Museum Miami, also known as PAMM.

According to a police report, Caminero picked up a colored vase by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. When a security guard asked him to put it down, Caminero instead smashed it on the floor.

The painter told police he broke the vase because he didn't think there were enough displays from local artists at the museum.

The museum says the vase was worth $1 million. Criminal mischief is punishable by up to five years in prison when the property damaged is worth more than $1,000.

"I did it for all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here," he told the Miami New Times. "They have spent so many millions now on international artists."

"It's the same political situation over and over again. I've been here for 30 years and it's always the same."

"I didn't know that it was that amount," he says of the million dollar pot. "I feel so sorry about it, for sure. I thought it was a common clay pot like you would find at Home Depot, frankly."

There is video because Maximo Caminero actually had a friend record the incident:

February 18, 2014 |

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