Artist pleads not guilty in Ai Weiwei vase smashing

Maximo Caminero previously apologized for smashing vase valued at $1 million

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MIAMI - A South Florida artist has pleaded not guilty to criminal mischief charges in which he is accused of smashing a vase that was part of a museum exhibit by noted Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

Maximo Caminero's attorney John de Leon said Monday he filed the written plea and asked for a jury trial.

Even so, Caminero previously apologized for smashing the vase in February and told police it was to protest lack of support for local artists.

The vase was one of 16 in a Weiwei installation at the Perez Art Museum Miami.

Police put its value at $1 million, but Weiwei said in an interview he thought that was an exaggeration.

Caminero is charged with criminal mischief over $1,000, which is a felony.

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