A priceless vase, part of an Ai Weiwei exhibit at the Perez Art Museum in Miami, was dropped deliberately by a Chinese protestor who was objecting to the lack of exhibits by local artists and the museum’s decision to only display international artist’s work.
According to The Associated Press on Tuesday, the local artist – identified as 51-year-old Maximo Caminero – ignored the standard ‘Do not Touch’ museum mandate and picked up the world-renowned Chinese artist’s vase, held it chest high, and despite museum officials demanding that he put it down, smashed it on the floor.
The vase, which is thought to be 7,000 years old, was part of the Ai Weiwei: According To What? exhibit which runs through March 16. The vase had an estimated worth of $1,000,000.
“Yesterday a museum visitor intentionally broke a vase in the Ai Weiwei exhibition,” Leann Standish, Deputy Director for External Affairs, said in a press release. “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 told investigators that he “spontaneously” busted the vase, which was part of Chinese contemporary artist's Ai Weiwei’s exhibit.
According to MSN, Ai Weiwei is a “sculptor, designer and documentary maker,” and 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.”
Caminero, from South Florida, is now facing a criminal charge.