The man who last February at Miami's Perez Art Museum, or PAMM, smashed one of the vases in the work "Colored Vases" by Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in a local court.

Maximo Caminero, who is also an artist, pleaded guilty to the charge of criminal mischief for destroying someone else's property and will remain on probation for 18 months and have to do 100 hours of community service for the premeditated destruction of the vase, which was valued at "more than $1,000."

Caminero, who is prohibited from entering the museum while he completes his probation, was recorded by a security camera in the exhibit hall lifting the valuable work of art and hurling it to the floor, where it shattered.

Caminero could have received up to five years in prison for the crime, but by agreeing to admit his guilt in the matter he was able to get the sentence reduced.

He admitted that he ignored the verbal warning given to him by a security guard not to touch the exhibited artwork. The vase he destroyed was one of about a dozen vases comprising one of Ai's works in the temporary exhibition "According To What?"

Caminero, 51, will also have to pay $10,000 in restitution, according to the value placed on the item he smashed by the Berkeley Asset Protection insurance firm, and to offer a "public written apology to the victim" - that is, Ai Weiwei - the museum and the community.

"I was wrong," Caminero said in his letter of apology made public on Wednesday. "I think about what I did every day and I find it hard to live with what I did because it still haunts me."

Caminero said shortly after committing the crime that by smashing the vase he intended to protest the lack of works by local artists on display at the PAMM, where about 30 works by the Chinese artist created over several decades were being shown. EFE