A South Florida artist has apologized for smashing a $1 million vase that was part of a Miami museum exhibit by noted Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.
Maximo Caminero told the Miami Herald Tuesday that he had no right to destroy someone else's art. The vase was one of 16 in an Ai installation at the new Pérez Art Museum Miami. Police said Caminero told them he smashed the vase Sunday to protest the lack of support for local artists rather than international ones.
“I have not the right to break his piece. I feel sorry for that,” Caminero told the Herald. “I’d like to apologize for all the inconvenience I caused Mr. Weiwei. I have no right to break the piece of someone else.”
Meanwhile, Weiwei spoke out Wednesday saying he didn't agree with Caminero's tactic.
"Damaging other people's property or disturbing a public program doesn't really support his cause," Ai said in an interview in Beijing.
Caminero, 51, who faces a charge of criminal mischief, canceled a planned Tuesday news conference and did not respond to telephone messages left by The Associated Press. A note on his studio door said his lawyer advised against commenting.
According to the Herald, Caminero says he was unaware of the value of the vase and was actually acting in support of artists like Ai who are stifled.
Ai said the artist's apparent inspiration was "misleading.''
"You cannot stand in front of a classical painting and kill somebody and say that you are inspired by" the artist, Ai said, adding that "this doesn't make any sense."
Ai said he thought the value of $1 million mentioned on the Florida police affidavit was "exaggerated." He said that he wasn't involved with the insurance details, but that he thought the figure was "a very ridiculous number."
The museum remains open – although it has extra security around the exhibit, the newspaper noted.