On Wednesday afternoon, a group of tourists spotted a noose left inside the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History in the segregation exhibit.
U.S. Park Police has removed the noose and the exhibit remains closed at this time for investigation. Similarly, a noose was found hanging from a tree outside the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C. last Friday.
“The Smithsonian family stands together in condemning this act of hatred and intolerance, especially repugnant in a museum that affirms and celebrates the American values of inclusion and diversity,” the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution David Skorton said in an email to employees. “We will not be intimated. Cowardly acts like these will not, for one moment, prevent us from the vital work we do.”
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) May 31, 2017
A statement from our Founding Director Lonnie Bunch on the noose found in our history galleries today. pic.twitter.com/sFWVSaobhV
— Smithsonian NMAAHC (@NMAAHC) May 31, 2017
A U.S. Park Police spokeswoman confirmed the agency was investigating but declined to provide any further details.
In September 2016, for the $540 million African American Museum, President Barack Obama said the museum tells the story of black America, and “helps to tell a richer and fuller story of who we are.”
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is part of the Smithsonian, which includes 19 museums, including the Hirshhorn and galleries and the National Zoological Park, in which nooses were previously found.
The investigation is still ongoing, and further information will be released later on by the U.S. Park Police.