By Susan Johnes
A museum is an institution that tells the story of and how humanity has survived in its environment over the years. It is a place that houses things created by nature and by man. In our modern society, it houses the cultural background of the nation.
However, there are some negative interpretations of museums. People often see them as places where the unwanted objects or materials are deposited. Additionally, some regard them as places where objects associated with idolatry and fetish religions are kept.
The negative perceptions have continued to inhibit the development of museums in most countries. In Washington, D.C., a noose was found on the grounds of a Smithsonian museum for the second time in a week.
The noose was spotted on Wednesday when visitors walked into an exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture and found it left in an exhibit on segregation.
According to St. Thomas, the gallery was closed quickly and remained restricted for about an hour, after two of the visitors who discovered the noose became extremely upset.
Surprisingly, it’s the second time in less than a week that another noose has been found around museum grounds. Just last week, a noose was hanging from a tree outside the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
In a statement about the Friday’s discovery, St. Thomas stated that he didn’t know how long it had been there, but he said it was apparently intended to be in the segregation exhibition.
The museum’s management in a statement condemned the act terming it as hatred and intolerance. It stated that the institution affirms and celebrates the American values of diversity.
St. Thomas reported that the museum had a strong security including metal detectors and bag screening. She observed that a small noose would not have set off any immediate alarms.
“We will not be intimidated,” Skorton wrote in his email. He added that they would tell the story of the nation and its entire people. Skorton further added that Cowardly acts like that would not prevent them from engaging in the vital work they do and will remain vigilant and become a stronger institution for all Americans.
Museums are places that ensure understanding and appreciation of various groups and cultures. They promote a better understanding of our collective heritage and foster self-reflection.
Further, Museums serve to help future generations comprehend their history and recognize the achievements of the early humankind.
Indeed, Museums are both necessary and relevant today. It is still a wonder why some people should consider destroying institutions with vital importance including conserving, protecting and displaying our past artifacts.
Museums are the only places that preserve our precious heritage which might otherwise be lost to time itself. Without museums, we would certainly miss the tangible links to our past.