A day after the art world reacted in shock to a South Florida artist's act of protest at the Perez Art Museum Miami, Maximo Caminero is apologising to Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei for smashing one of his vases.
The green vase, one of 16 on display at the "Ai Weiwei: According to What?" exhibit, has been valued by the museum at US$1 million.
"I have not the right to break his piece. I feel sorry for that," Caminero, 51, said. "I'd like to apologise for all the inconvenience I caused Mr Weiwei. I have no right to break the piece of someone else.
"I was never against the art."
On Sunday, Caminero attended the exhibit, a politically charged showcase into Chinese culture and history. One component of the exhibit features a series of three black-and-white photos of the artist, in protest mode, as he holds a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty vase and lets it smash to the ground.
According to the police report, Caminero picked up one of vases and refused a security officer's order to put it down. Caminero smashed the vase on the floor. He told the arresting officer that he smashed the artwork on behalf of local artists who he felt were slighted in favour of international artists at the new US$131 million complex on Biscayne Bay.
Caminero, a Dominican Republic-born artist, maintains he was unaware of the value of the piece and was acting in support of artists like Ai who are stifled.