Ancient art worth $5 million was destroyed at the Dallas Museum of Art by a man who was “mad at his girl” and decided to take it out on the irreplaceable artifacts.
Brian Hernandez broke into the museum late Wednesday night, smashing through a glass door with a metal chair. Avoiding security guards at the museum, he went around their Greek wing, smashing glass casings and the works of ancient art inside them.
According to Agustin Areaga, speaking for the DMA, there’s no indication of why Hernandez targeted the museum or the Greek wing. Neither he or the unidentified “girl” he was in a rage about have anything to do with the DMA. It’s unclear if either of them had ever even visited it before.
“He went through other spaces and did not hurt any other works, didn’t touch anything, didn’t have the intention of stealing anything,” Arteaga said. “It was just his anger that drove that person to do what it did.”
One of the works he destroyed was a 6th century Greek vase glazed with a vivid scene of the death of Patrocles. Another was a red-figure pyxis, a stunning clay vessel painted with the scene of a hunting party, estimated to be nearly 2500 years old. Also smashed was a sculpture historians believe to be one of the oldest depictions of a sturgeon. All together, he destroyed ancient art worth at least $5 million, and possibly more.
Hernandez was captured soon after he left the museum and the wreckage of his anger. He’s been charged with criminal mischief, which will be a first degree felony under Texas law, due to the amount of damage. A first degree felony can carry a sentence of anywhere from 5 years in prison to life, depending on the sentencing judge.
According to Areaga, this is the first instance of willful damage in the Dallas Museum of Art’s 119 year history.
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