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On the first day of June, Brian Hernandez, a 21-year-old man, broke into the Dallas Museum of Art and destroyed over $5 million in art.
Around 9:40 p.m, security footage caught Hernandez holding a metal chair outside the Museum and showed him going into every room, destroying display cases and the items inside.
After Hernandez and his girlfriend got into an argument, he decided to take out his anger and frustration on the art museum, damaging some of the oldest and most expensive pieces in the Museum. Hernandez used a metal stool to shatter glass cases and damage several ancient Greek artifacts, such as a wide drinking cup from 550 and 530 B.C.E, adorned with vignettes of Heracles fighting the Nemean lion.
Besides the red-figure pyxis, Hernandez also broke a cylindrical box containing jewels, perfume bottles, and cosmetics. On the artifact, women are depicted in domestic settings.
After that, Hernandez used a hand sanitizer stand to destroy a glass case that held the Batah Kuhuh Alligator Gar Fish Effigy Bottle, a 2018 ceramic piece by Chase Kahwinhut Earles, a Native American artist. Hernandez slammed this piece to the ground, shattering the work.
Upset man destroys art in apparent temper tantrum
Initially, police officials totaled the cumulative damages of the amphora and pyxis at about $5 million. The effigy bottle cost $10,000, while the kylix was valued at $100,000.
The museum director, Agustín Arteaga, stated that “the real total could be a fraction of the original $5 million estimates.”
Thirty minutes after Hernandez was spotted outside the Museum, police arrived with an arrest warrant. After noticing someone in the building after hours, a museum security guard called the police, and when they came, Hernandez was sitting on a bench inside after the guard told him to wait there.
During the break-in, no one was injured, and the Museum remained open to visitors.
The Dallas Museum of Art released a public statement, “This was an isolated incident perpetrated by one individual acting alone, whose intent was not theft of art or any objects on view at the Museum. However, some works of art were damaged, and we are still in the process of assessing the extent of the damages. While we are devastated by this incident, we are grateful that no one was harmed..”
Hernadez is held at Dallas County Jail on a $100,000 bond, charged with criminal mischief of more than $300,000.
The destruction of the Museum comes a few days after Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was damaged by a man dressed as an elderly woman. He attempted to smash the bulletproof glass, but when that idea failed, he decided to leap out of a wheelchair and plastered cake on the glass.
Although the Dallas Museum of Art was significantly damaged, the organization is glad that no one was harmed in the invasion. They refused to let the damages ruin what they stand for, let alone stop individuals from appreciating the wonders of art.