A Miami-based painter didn’t take kindly to a new local art museum holding a show which included only international artists, and broke a vase valued at $1 million in protest.
51-year old Maximo Caminero picked up a vase created by Ai Weiwei and, when a security guard told him to put it down, Caminero smashed it on the floor of the Perez Art Museum Miami. Caminero now faces charges of criminal mischief, which could earn him up to five years in prison.
The story is making national headlines due to Weiwei’s fame as a political activist who has used his art as a mouthpiece against Chinese government, particularly their views on human rights. But Weiwei said in an interview with CNN that he doesn’t think much of the protest, other than that it could have been done differently.
“I can’t have a show in Beijing but I cannot go to museums to break work in Beijing,” he said. “My work is basically forbidden to be shown in China … The protest itself may be valid but to damage somebody’s work to do that is questionable…I don’t really care much and actually my work is often damaged in different shows, because it’s fragile so normally I don’t take these things too highly. Damage is damage, you know. If they have insurance, maybe it will be covered.”
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