The man, identified by the Dallas police as Brian Hernandez, 21, “seriously damaged” four pieces of art, Agustin Arteaga, the museum’s director, said in an interview. He had broken into the museum by repeatedly striking a glass door with a steel chair around 10 p.m. Wednesday, Mr. Arteaga said.
Mr. Arteaga estimated that the items, which were insured, have a value of $1 million or more, but the true cost of the destruction will not be known until officials and insurers conduct a damage assessment. “There was no intention, from what we can see, of stealing anything, of damaging any work of art in a deliberate way,” Mr. Arteaga said. “It was just someone who was going through a moment of anger and found this as a way to express it.”
The Greek objects include a black-figure kylix, a bowl from the sixth century B.C. featuring vignettes of Herakles grappling with the Nemean lion; a red-figure pyxis, a cylindrical container with a lid from the fifth century B.C.; and a ceramic amphora — a tall jar with two handles — from the sixth century B.C. The other artwork that was seriously damaged was a ceramic container by a contemporary Native American artist, Mr. Arteaga said.
Museum officials called the vandalism “isolated” and the product of a single person acting alone. They said that the Dallas police arrested the suspect at the scene, no one was injured and the man was not carrying weapons.
“While we are devastated by this incident, we are grateful that no one was harmed,” museum officials said in a statement.