Man destroys $ 5m in ancient artifacts in museum row with girlfriend

A 21-year-old man reportedly broke into the Dallas Museum of Art and destroyed $ 5m worth of ancient Greek artifacts after getting into a fight with his girlfriend.

Brian Hernandez was detained by security guards on Wednesday after he allegedly broke into the museum and began smashing priceless ancient art.

He allegedly smashed through the museum’s glass front door with a metal chair around 9.40pm on Wednesday night.

Police reviewed footage surveillance which reportedly shows Mr Hernandez using a stool to smash two display cases and damage several pieces of ancient art, including two pots estimated at $ 5m in value.

He told police that he wrecked the museum because he was “mad at his girl”.

In addition to the 2,500 year old Greek artifacts he allegedly destroyed, police also said he destroyed a contemporary Native American piece of art valued at $ 10,000 and a Greek cup from around 540 BCE valued at $ 100,000.

An ancient Greek pot destroyed at the Dallas Museum of Art. Brian Hernandez, 21, allegedly destroyed the pot and other artifacts after he became angry with his girlfriend and broke into the museum.

(Dallas Museum of Art)

He went on to allegedly destroy a telephone, a computer and a bench inside the museum.

The initial estimates of the damage he caused is $ 5,153,000. However, the museum’s director, Agustin Arteaga, said he was working with insurers to determine the damage, noting that the final estimate could be lower than the initial $ 5m number.

“We anticipate the real total could be a fraction of the original $ 5 million estimate,” he said in a statement.

Eventually security guards caught up with Mr Hernandez on the museum’s main floor. They were alerted to his presence when a motion detector alarm went off.

When they asked what he was doing in the museum, he allegedly told the guards he “got mad at his girl so he broke in and started destroying property,” a police report said.

According to police, Mr Hernandez also called 911 on himself. The police arrived around 10.10pm and arrested the man.

The museum reopened on Thursday, though the areas where Mr Hernandez allegedly caused damage were blocked off to allow the investigation to continue unhindered.

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