Security at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) called the police last Wednesday night, June 1st, in response to a man who had broken into the facility. Once the 21-year-old man had been arrested and taken away, security surveyed some of the damage the intruder had done. Wielding a steel chair, the man smashed several display cases, nearly destroying four artifacts in the process. Three of the four pieces damaged were 2500-year-old Greek artifacts: a ceramic wine cup with mythological decorations, a cylindrical container with its original lid, and an ancient amphora. The final piece destroyed was a ceramic work by Chase Kahwinhut Earles, a contemporary indigenous artist. Some other items were also damaged, but only to a minor extent.
While some sources cite the total damage at the Dallas Museum of Art at a little over $1 million, other sources claim the museum suffered closer to $5.1 million in damage. Of course, this is just an initial estimate. It’s likely inflated to prepare for dealing with the actual cost of the damage. Why did this happen? Well, according to the suspect, he got mad at his girlfriend and needed to vent. Some people scream into a pillow, while others write an angry email and delete it. Well, not in Dallas. Let’s smash up a museum. Consequently, the suspect is being charged with criminal mischief. Thankfully, the museum was ready to open the next day. Meanwhile, the museum is conducting an internal audit to determine how specialists can restore the damaged artifacts.