Fla. artist smashes vase worth $1 million in Miami museum; police say it was protest

MIAMI (AP) — A South Florida artist is facing a criminal charge after police say he smashed a $1 million vase at Miami's new art museum in what appears to be a form of protest.

A security guard at the Perez Art Museum Miami told officers that Maximo Caminero picked up a colored vase by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei (EYE' WAY'-way) yesterday and, when told to put it down, instead smashed it on the floor.

A police affidavit says Caminero told officers he broke the vase to protest the museum's lack of local artist displays.

The Miami painter has been charged with criminal mischief, which can be a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison when the property damaged is worth more than $1,000.

Caminero declined comment when reached by telephone today. He says he will have an afternoon news conference tomorrow.

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