Man 'Mad at His Girl' Destroys Ancient Art

Police say man smashed his way into Dallas Museum of Art
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2022 5:10 AM CDT
Ancient Art Destroyed in Texas Museum Break-in
The Dallas Museum of Art has more than 24,000 works in its cross-cultural collection.   (Wikimedia Commons/KeithJonsn)

Ancient art was destroyed when a man smashed his way into the Dallas Museum of Art Wednesday night, but the devastation may not be as bad as initially feared, authorities say. Museum officials, who initially estimated the damage at $5 million, now say the total could be a "fraction of that amount," the Dallas Morning News reports. Police say 21-year-old Brian Hernandez used a metal chair to break into the museum around 9:45pm and started smashing things when he got inside. Hernandez allegedly destroyed three ancient Greek artifacts—including a 6th century BC amphora—and a Native American ceramic piece before security apprehended him, reports the AP.

Hernandez also allegedly wrecked museum property including display cases and at least one computer. The guard who apprehended Hernandez told police the suspect said "he got mad at his girl so he broke in and started destroying property." Hernandez has been charged with criminal mischief equal to or greater than $300,000. "The items inside of the display cases that were destroyed are rare ancient artifacts that are extremely precious and one of a kind," police said in a statement, per NBC 5.

Police say Hernandez was unarmed and called 911 on himself from inside the museum before he was apprehended. Museum board member Mary McDermott Cook, whose parents donated thousands of items, tells the Morning News she felt "sick to her stomach" after hearing about the incident. "I feel like everything has gone nuts, and this is one thing that went nuts," she says. "But what I also said is, 'Let’s face it. It's just things. No person was hurt. And we have the technology and the expertise to put broken things back together.' And thank God for that." (A disguised man threw cake at the Mona Lisa on Sunday.)

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