A man allegedly stormed into a museum on Wednesday night and broke works of ancient art. When a guard confronted him about it, he allegedly said he did it because he was “mad at his girl.” Brian Hernandez, 21, is locked up at the Dallas County Jail with bond set at $100,000, online records show.
He entered the Dallas Museum of Art at about 9:40 p.m. while holding a metal chair, according to officers in a Dallas Morning News report. This included an amphora vase dated to about the last quarter of the 6th century BCE, a pyxis box was reportedly from 450 BCE, and a bowl dated to 550-530 BDE. Generations of people lived, died, and faded into history in the time those items existed. Nations rose and fell.
DMA board member Mary McDermott Cook reportedly said she felt sick to her stomach on hearing the incident from museum director Agustín Arteaga. She nonetheless pointed out the silver lining: No one was hurt.
“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,” she said.
Other items Hernandez allegedly destroyed include display cases, furniture, a computer, and phones.
“Three ceramic Greek vessels were seriously damaged in addition to one Native American contemporary ceramic piece,” Arteaga said in a statement. “In addition, less than a dozen smaller pieces that were in the same glass case attacked, might have suffered minor damages.”
Museum security and operations director Kenneth Bennett initially gave an estimate of $5 million of the damage, but Arteaga walked back that figure, saying they were working with insurers and “we anticipate the real total could be a fraction of the original $5 million estimate.”
Hernandez called 911 on himself in addition to the guard capturing him, officers said. He said “he got mad at his girl so he broke in and started destroying property,” the guard told officers, according to cops.
Hernandez was allegedly read his rights and confessed to officers. His attorney Henry Wasonga reportedly declined to comment.
[Booking photo via Dallas County Jail]
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