A Texas man told police that he “got mad at his girl” this week and rampaged through the Dallas Museum Museum of Art, forcibly entering the museum and destroying three ancient Greek vessels, a contemporary Caddo sculpture and several vitrines and other objects. Police claim he did not intend to steal artwork, but it remains unclear whether his “girl” works in the arts or why he targeted the museum.
Surveillance footage shows the 21-year-old suspect Brian Hernandez entering the museum on 1 June and damaging the following artworks in the museum’s collection: a 6th century black-figure panel amphora showing combats from the Trojan war; a 450 BCE red-figure Pyxis depicting a domestic Athenian scene that likely functioned as a cosmetics or incense holder; a 6th century black-figure kylix and a distinctive Caddo ceramic statue of a torpedo-shaped alligator fish made by the artist Chase Kahwinhut Earles in 2018.
Hernandez set off a motion sensor as he entered the museum, and police claim he also called 911 on himself from inside the building. He was charged with criminal mischief of more than or equal to $300,000.
In a statement, museum officials wrote: “While we are devastated by this incident, we are grateful that no one was harmed. The safety of our staff and visitors, along with the care and protection of the art in our stewardship, are our utmost priorities.”
The museum was open to the public the day after the incident, though certain permanent collection galleries remained closed as the investigation into the incident was ongoing.