MIAMI – A vandal was arrested after breaking a million-dollar vase at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).
According to the Miami Police report, a museum security guard witnessed Maximo Caminero, 51, pick up the vase from the Ai Weiwei exhibit on Sunday. The guard asked Caminero to put down the vase, but said he instead threw it to the floor.
"It was such a peaceful thing and for the people," said museum goer Sandy Gordon. "This is something so aggressive and it's something that's irreplaceable."
Caminero, an artist himself, told police it was an act of protest against the politics of the world, saying the museum only displays international artists and has no local art.
The million dollar vase is said to be thousands of years old.
"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," said museum spokesperson Tracy Belcher.
Caminero is charged with one count of criminal mischief.
Caminero declined to comment when reached by phone Monday, saying he planned a news conference Tuesday.
"Marketing is pushing artists to do things that they never expected to do before," said "He's not the first and he won't be the last to do something like that, which maybe is not politically correct because it's not in favor of the artist."
"Marketing is pushing artists to do things that they never expected to do before," said Ramon Williams, Caminero's colleague. "He's not the first and he won't be the last to do something like that, which maybe is not politically correct because it's not in favor of the artist."
Ai Weiwei is a performance artist from China. The "Colored Vases" exhibit, which has been on display since the museum opened, was set to end in mid-March. The vases, some 5,000 years old, were dipped in bright, modern pain. The picture behind the vases is of the artist himself smashing an ancient vase, challenging the meaning of culture, history and identity.
--Photo Courtesy of Miami New Times via Craig O'Neill