Florida Artist Destroys $1 Million Vase in Protest
Miami police have arrested Florida artist, Maximo Caminero, who has destroyed a $1 million vase by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei to protest the city's newly opened museum.
Caminero was arrested and charged with criminal mischief after picking up one of 16 brightly painted vases at the Perez Art Museum Miami and throwing it to the ground.
According to the police report, he told police he broke the vase to protest that the museum "only displayed international artists."
The 16 vases are about 2,000 years old, dating back to China's Han Dynasty.
Ai Weiwei, born 18 May 1957 in Beijing, is a Chinese contemporary artist, active in sculpture, installation, architecture, curating, photography, film, and social, political and cultural criticism. Ai collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. As a political activist, he has been highly and openly critical of the Chinese Government's stance on democracy and human rights. He has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of so-called "tofu-dreg schools" in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In 2011, following his arrest atBeijing Capital International Airport on 3 April, he was held for 81 days without any official charges being filed; officials alluded to their allegations of "economic crimes".