Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center (image via Flickr user aspis7)

The offices of the Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Center were spray-painted with obscene messages by vandals overnight, the New York Times reportedThe opera’s administration confirmed the incident — which primarily affected administrative areas, though a performance space was also targeted — in a statement to the Times, noting that it brought “little or no permanent damage.”

Police told the paper that there were no signs of forced entry, indicating that the defacement of “some paintings and sculptures — as well as on part of a band shell at Lincoln Center” was likely an inside job. The New York Daily News reported that one of the targeted paintings is worth some $50,000.

The NYPD further speculated that the vandalism could be linked to ongoing contract negotiations with 15 unions representing Met Opera employees, though one union official, from the American Guild of Musical Artists, disputed this claim: “Nobody’s that crazy,” he said.

Mostafa Heddaya is the former managing editor of Hyperallergic.