Miami Local artist Maximo Caminero is accused of smashing a $1 million Ai Weiwei vase that is on exhibit at Miami’s Pérez Art Museum. A security guard observed Caminero commit the act according to the police report and according to other media reports, Caminero committed this act because he was protesting against the lack of opportunities local Miami artists had in reference to showcasing their works. Ai Weiwei himself, is an artist that broke his own pieces of art in protest of the Chinese government.
Famous cases of vandalized art
Sunday’s destruction of a vase valued at $1 million at PAMM’s exhibit of artworks by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is unusual, experts say, but not unheard of. Here are some other notorious incidents of patrons damaging priceless artworks
• “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci. Doused with acid in 1956 at a museum in Montauban, France. Battered by a rock that same year. Red paint tossed at her in 1974 at the Tokyo National. Battered by a terracotta teacup in the Louvre. The painting’s bulletproof case protected the painting in the latter instances.
• Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam was attacked with a knife in 1911. In 1975, dozens of zigzag lines were cut in the painting with a knife. Doused with acid in 1990.
• “The Little Mermaid” statue in the harbor of Copenhagen was decapitated in 1964 and its head was never recovered. In 1998, the statue was decapitated again but the head was found. In 2003 the statue was damaged by explosives. Paint has been tossed at the statue numerous times, as recently as 2007.
• Rembrandt’s painting “Danaë“ at the Hermitage Museum in Russia was doused with sulfuric acid and cut with a knife in 1985.
• Michelangelo’s David attacked with a hammer in 1991.