Dallas, TX

Man Destroys Priceless Ancient Greek Art Worth $5 Million After an Argument With His Girlfriend

Prateek Dasgupta

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A Greek Kylix from 5th century BC. A similar object was destroyed at the Dallas Museum of ArtWikimedia

21-year-old Brian Hernandez broke into the Dallas Museum of Art and destroyed $5 million worth of priceless artifacts after an argument with his girlfriend.

According to the security camera footage, Hernandez stormed the Dallas Museum of Art with a metal chair. He then went from room to room, destroying valuable artwork. He used a metal stool to smash cases and damage the priceless pieces.

Among the damaged pieces are a 6th century BC amphora depicting the Trojan War and a black figure kylix, which is a type of wide drinking cup used in ancient Greece. The police estimate the kylix was worth $100,000 and the total damage was worth $5 million.

Other objects smashed by the intruder include vignettes showing the Greek hero Heracles fighting the Nemean lion, and a red-figure pyxis. The pyxis is a cylindrical box that was used to store cosmetics own jewelry in ancient Greece.

Hernandez also destroyed a ceramic Native American artwork. The Batah Kuhuh Alligator Garfish Effigy Bottle was a ceramic piece made in 2018 by Native American artist Chase Kahwinhut Earles. In a fit of rage, Hernandez slammed the bowl to the ground.

The items inside of the display cases that were destroyed are rare ancient artifacts that are extremely precious and one of a kind: Hernandez's arrest sheet, as reported by NBC.

Board member of the Dallas Museum of Art Mary McDermott Cook, whose parents donated more than 3100 pieces to the museum, was shocked to find out about the incident.

“I feel like everything has gone nuts, and this is one thing that went nuts,” Cook 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.” -Mary McDermott Cook.

Museum security alerted the police when they heard the noise. Police officers arrived at the museum thirty minutes after the incident and arrested Hernandez, who was sitting on a bench in the museum.

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As a writer, lost civilizations and human progress fascinate me. My goal on News Break is to spark people's interest in the past, archaeology, natural history, and the history of scientific inquiry.

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