Noose Found Inside African American Museum in Washington


The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. Credit Lexey Swall for The New York Times

A noose was found Wednesday at an exhibition on segregation inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, the Smithsonian Institution announced.

Museum visitors found the noose on the floor in front of a display titled, “Democracy Abroad. Injustice at Home,” and it was reported to the United States Park Police. The permanent exhibition, “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: Era of Segregation 1876-1968,” was closed but reopened about three hours after the discovery, the Smithsonian said.

The noose found on Wednesday afternoon was the second one to have been discovered in the past week at the Smithsonian museum complex on the National Mall. On Saturday, the Park Police removed a noose from a tree outside the Hirshhorn Museum, which exhibits contemporary art.

The Smithsonian and the Park Police are working together on both cases. No arrests had been made as of Wednesday night.

“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,” David J. Skorton, the secretary of the Smithsonian, wrote in an email to his staff.

Mr. Skorton called the episode “deeply disturbing” and added, “Cowardly acts like these will not, for one moment, prevent us from the vital work we do.”

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