The director of the Dallas Museum and board members issued a statement on Friday, promising that a full reassessment of the museum’s security would be carried out. This comes after a break-in at the museum on June 1.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Brian Hernandez allegedly smashed into the building’s front entrance with a metal chair. He then reportedly destroyed multiple display cases in which valuable artworks and artifacts are housed.
Hernandez was arrested by police at 10:10 p.m., 30 minutes after he approached the museum’s front entrance. He was charged with criminal mischief of more than or equal to $300,000.
Among the artifacts destroyed are three ancient Greek vessels from the 5th and 6th centuries B.C. and a contemporary Native American artwork. According to police, the value of the rare pieces destroyed adds up to over $5.1 million. Museum director Agustín Arteaga told The Dallas Morning News that “the real total could be a fraction of the original $5 million estimate.”
“Over the last few weeks, we have spent a great deal of time reflecting on and assessing the circumstances surrounding the break-in at the museum,” the statement read. “This experience has prompted us to further review and assess our security measures and facilities.”
The announcement included the promise of an independent security consultant to ensure the museum’s security measures “exceed best practice standards.”
The announcement was signed by board President Catherine Rose, incoming board President Gowri Sharma, interim board Chairman Walter Elcock, and incoming board Chairman Jeffrey S. Ellerman.
“We take very seriously the duty we have to our patrons, supporters, and the city of Dallas at large to be responsible stewards of the invaluable art in our care,” said the museum leaders.
Following the incident, there have been public concerns that a security breakdown made the break-in possible. After the break-in, two experts on museum security told the DMN that the incident reflected a crucial failure of the board.
Responding to the review talks, John Barelli, the retired security chief of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, said that bringing in an outside consultant was the right step for the museum to take, given the situation.
Further details of the review are not known at this time.
Hernandez remained in Dallas County jail as of June 24, with his bail set at $100,000.