A South Florida artist is facing a criminal charge after police say he smashed a $US1 million ($A1.11 million) vase by a Chinese artist to protest what he called favouritism for international rather than local art.
Maximo Caminero, 51, was charged with criminal mischief after Sunday’s incident at the Perez Art Museum Miami.
According to a Miami Police Department arrest affidavit, a security guard told officers that Caminero picked up a coloured vase by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.
When told to put it down, the security guard said, Caminero smashed it on the floor.
Caminero told officers he broke the vase to protest the museum’s lack of local artist displays and because “the museum only displayed international artists’ art,” according to the affidavit.
Caminero, a painter who lives in Miami, said he will have an afternoon news conference on Tuesday.
The museum released a statement saying that “as an art museum dedicated to celebrating modern and contemporary artists from within our community and around the world, we have the highest respect for freedom of expression”.
“But this destructive act is vandalism and disrespectful to another artist and his work, to Prez Art Museum Miami, and to our community.”
According to the Perez Art Museum Miami’s website, the vase is one of more than a dozen that are part of a floor installation.
Caminero had a recent showing at the JF Gallery in West Palm Beach that offered patrons a chance to meet him and “view a sampling of the work from his 30-year career as an artist.”