Metropolitan Opera House Vandalized

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 04:00 PM

A limo arrives in front of the Metropolitan Opera House A limo arrives in front of the Metropolitan Opera House (Sean Pavone /

A vandal attacked the Metropolitan Opera early Wednesday morning, leaving a trail of spray-painted vulgarities inside the house and near the Damrosch Park Bandshell.

The musical miscreant entered the building between 7:15 and 8 am, according to the NYPD, and defaced several works of art including paintings in the lobby and sculptures near the Bandshell.

A Met spokesman, however, said the vandalism was confined to the building's administrative offices, adding that the company has no further comment at this time.

The graffiti attack comes at a sensitive time for the opera house. Last week it announced that it was cancelling its HD and radio broadcasts of John Adams's The Death of Klinghoffer, drawing widespread criticism. It is also in the midst of contentious contract talks with its unions. But at least one union leader expressed doubts that it was connected to negotiations.

"I don't believe any unionized employee could be so crazy," said Alan Gordon, the executive director of the American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents the chorus, singers and producers. "It sounds more like some personal thing."

According to the Daily News, investigators apparently believe the defacing may have been committed by a disgruntled worker who had access to the building. Police are still investigating the incident.


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Comments [20]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

CIVILIZATION takes a giant step backward when one cannot trust in their own articulation of grievances, real or imagined, to strike out at cultural institutions or any non-combative force. Observe the discontent, HORROR, of the world situation where lives and property are dismissed as necessary collateral damage to achieve an end, a goal, benefitting only the aggressor. Everyone deserves to be heard no matter how outrageous to others that person's comments are, but violence and destruction should not become the trigger happy preemptive "reasoning
judgment" allowable by society. One can only hope that logic and society's rebuke to hatred provoked vandalism will ultimately prevail. It will be a better world for all of us if common sense takes hold.

Jun. 28 2014 11:52 AM
Ben Stock from Bronx

The Met is a sacred temple of what may be a dying religion but we will not tolerate rudeness.

Jun. 26 2014 10:10 PM

I'm still confused.
The post says, "The musical miscreant ... defaced several works of art including paintings in the lobby and sculptures near the Bandshell.

A Met spokesman said the vandalism was confined to the building's administrative offices ..."
Any updates?


Jun. 26 2014 09:57 PM
Mishka from Denmark

Always wanted to vandalize a big building as a teen/young adult, nothing this significant.

Jun. 26 2014 08:41 PM

Vandalism, when it harms art and artistic institutions, is a serious criminal act. It probably occurs more frequently in over-populated societies.

Jun. 26 2014 01:34 PM
Gary from New York

Labor negotiations and vandalism have a long history of compatibility. Yes we don't who the "musical miscreant" is, but we aren't blind to past history either. Unions are legal monopolies. Monopoly power shouldn't be tolerated anywhere in our society.

Jun. 26 2014 12:19 PM
Erik from NYC

As a patron of the arts and this particular facility, I am saddened to hear of such acts of needless offense. I have no intention of resorting to anger or placing the blame on society at large; rather, may this unfortunate event allow us to gain an insight to ourselves. I belong to the common working class to whom attending these halls is always a considerable expense. And I don't know about the complex internal politics mentioned earlier, but I still appreciate that the are institutions that make this kind of higher culture available even to people like me. It does make me wonder why someone would try to destroy something I love? What teaches a person to find satisfaction in causing harm to others? Yet what have I ever done to help those who feel that violence is their only voice? Outrage is at the tip of my tongue, but I'm sure I have something better to offer if I tried harder.

Jun. 26 2014 10:48 AM
linda from New York

Its unfortunate this occurred at such a fine institution. However, some of the comments are just as disturbing.Let's leave personal biases, grievances or prejudices out of this. Vandalism is wrong.

Jun. 26 2014 10:14 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Thank you Mr. Les, your comments hit the mark more profoundly than mine.
Best wishes

Jun. 26 2014 10:12 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

This is a disgrace and an outrage, plain and simple. What do you expect from a loutish society, egged on by money-grubbing media, that adulate and reward illiteracy, rowdyism and philistinism? Shake your bottom and scream into a microphone and you have it made, especially if you use four-letter words in every sentence, or fragments thereof. I'm not naive enough to think that there isn't a lot of bitterness between labor and management at the Met, but my mind won't accept --- unless cold, hard facts appear --- that ANYONE on either side would have done this. If we, meaning Western civizilization, think so little of the heritage the geniuses of the arts have left us, let's just crawl back into our caves and live in perpetual barbarism. I could go on, but I've made my point and don't want to belabor it. I'm grateful to have this opportunity to have done so. Actually, Ms. Nardone expressed it in one sentence.

Jun. 26 2014 09:27 AM
Beatrice Parides from NYC

Cannot believe Jeff Spurgeon just made a comment about "angry Queens in New York". I know you didn't mean this "double entendre".

Jun. 26 2014 09:08 AM
hw from USA

The Met organization should consider what the tone deaf vandal did. He, apparently did all of us who cannot afford to attend Met performances a favor.
I enjoy Opera, yet I cannot even purchase a ticket at that institution. Well, I say thank you.

Jun. 26 2014 09:00 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Yes, civilization is dying.
Look at the popular culture.

Jun. 26 2014 07:05 AM

OK. I'm officially confused. The post says, "The musical miscreant ... defaced several works of art including paintings in the lobby and sculptures near the Bandshell.

A Met spokesman said the vandalism was confined to the building's administrative offices ..."
Well now, which was it? Lobby and the Bandshell? Or administrative offices?


Jun. 25 2014 11:43 PM
Frank from UWS

Yesterday, I read about a man being tossed out of a Messiah concert because he was acting like a wild man. Today, it's graffiti at the Met. Civilization really is dying.

Jun. 25 2014 07:28 PM
Frank from Nazareth, PA

What a shame. Truly, nothing is sacred anymore. Society never ceases to amaze me with its boorish behavior.

Jun. 25 2014 06:26 PM

Sanford: I'm not sure you have any idea what's going on in those negotiations. I do. And if anyone's behavior has been shameful, it's Gelb's. Please spare everyone your uninformed rhetoric.

Jun. 25 2014 05:37 PM
Fred Plotkin from New York

To Bernie from the UWS: I am guessing that your comment was said "tongue in cheek" but it does not quite sound that way in print. I want to emphatically say that I do not believe in vandalism of any kind and under no circumstances should any work of art be damaged or destroyed or, in the case of live performance, interrupted. Such destruction is a form of violence. If someone does not like something, that can be expressed civilly. The pen is mightier and more effective than the spray paint can.

Jun. 25 2014 05:11 PM
Sanford Rothenberg from Brooklyn

This disgraceful act is almost certainly related to the labor strife at the MET.The shameful public behavior of the union leaders of AGMA and Local 802,and the lack of tact shown by Peter Gelb have contributed to the atmosphere in which (to quote the movie "300") an "inbred swine" could have committed such an atrocity.

Jun. 25 2014 04:58 PM
Bernie from UWS

Wasn't it a few weeks ago that Fred Plotkin was writing about how the Met's infrastructure was looking shabby? If Joe Volpe was at the helm this would have never happened.

Jun. 25 2014 04:51 PM

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