Feb. 18 - A Florida artist was arrested and charged with criminal mischief after reportedly smashing a vase that was part of an exhibit by Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei. Deborah Gembara reports.
It took just a matter of seconds for a Florida man to do a million dollars worth of damage. A 51-year artist is under arrest for allegedly destroying an antique that was part of an exhibit by Chinese dissident Ai WeiWei. Maximo Caminero reportedly told police he attacked the display as a protest against the museum, specifically it's decision to show only international pieces. Visitors to the Perez Museum in Miami had mixed reactions. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NIKKI GLOUDI, GREEK TOURIST VISITING MUSEUM, SAYING: "He can protest. He can write an article. He could, I guess, do many things on the Internet or whatever, but violence, it's a form of violence I guess and vandalism, I don't think it's right." (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANNA SALINAS, MIAMI RESIDENT VISITING MUSEUM, SAYING: "Because it is art, and art should not be destroyed. It doesn't matter what your political points are or views or whatever, it's art." Tessa Hansen, an artist from the UK, says Ai might appreciate Caminero's protest. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TESSA HANSEN, ARTIST AND MUSEUM VISITOR FROM THE UK, SAYING: "It seems a waste, but on the other hand, there are quite a lot of other vases in that collection, and Ai WeiWei has done that himself. He has destroyed things, and then made things perfectly again." These vases, painted by Ai WeiWei are about 2,000 years old and date back to the Han Dynasty.