Feb 19, 2014

By Scott Walker

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The artist who smashed a million-dollar vase that was part of an exhibition by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is apologizing for his act.

Maximo Caminero destroyed the 2,000-year-old vase at the Perez Art Museum in Miami. He did it as an act of protest because he felt the museum didn’t have enough displays of local artists. His act was caught by a video camera.

He smashed the vase in front of a blowup of a famous photo of Ai smashing a Han Dynasty ceramic urn as part of the exhibition, Ai Weiwei: According to What?

Ai is not happy with Caminero’s act. He says damaging another artist’s property was not the proper way to support his cause.

The broken vase is about 2,000 years old. It was one of 16 on display that Ai had dipped in bright paint.

Caminero now admits he had no right to destroy someone else’s art. He also says he didn’t realize the vase was worth anything.

He faces a charge of criminal mischief.

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