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A recent visitor to the Perez Art Museum in Miami is facing charges after he smashed one of Ai Weiwei‘s painted vases valued at $1,000,000 USD. Maxmio Carminero, 51, was charged with criminal mischief for smashing the vase as an act of protest against the museum’s decision to only display works by international artists rather than those of local artists. The vase was one of 16 repainted Han Dynasty urns that were part of a larger exhibition by the artist.
Carminero, himself an artist, was quoted as saying: “I did it for all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here…they have spent so many millions now on international artists.”
Despite having a history of painting over and destroying ancient vases himself, Ai Weiwei didn’t see any irony in Carminero’s actions.
“The work I work on [does] not belong to a museum or other people’s property. I never tried to destroy a museum piece – those vases belong to me,” he said. “He can drop whatever he likes to drop, but not other people’s property.”
That being said, the Chinese artist saw a plus side to the incident in that it would attract more attention to the show, whose attendance has been lackluster as of late.
“Now the show will be noticed. Are people really interested in the art, or something else?”