A man destroyed a vase by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei at the Perez Art Museum in Miami. The vase is reportedly worth about $1 million. In a video the man can be seen picking up the vase. He is told by security to put it down but instead he drops it and it smashes on the floor.
The New York Times reports
that the museum issued the following statement: "Although the museum can't speak directly to intentions, evidence suggests that this was a premeditated act. 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 Perez Art Museum Miami, and to our community."
The vandal, a local painter, told Miami New Times
that he broke the vase as a protest against the museum for not displaying work by local artists. He also claims he didn't know the vase was as valuable as it is. The museum should not have such valuable pieces just sitting on the floor unprotected. Breaking artwork is a terrible way to protest and it's certainly not a way to get your work shown in a museum. Take a look: