A gallery in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture was closed for about three hours Wednesday as authorities investigated the discovery of a noose.
The noose was found about noon in one of the subterranean History Galleries, museum officials said in an email to staffers.
U.S. Park Police and personnel from the Smithsonian Office of Protection Services investigated the discovery, and the gallery was reopened about 3:15 p.m.
“The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity—a symbol of extreme violence for African Americans,” museum Director Lonnie Bunch III said in an email.
“Today’s incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African Americans continue to face. Our museum is a place of learning and solace, a place to remember, to reflect and to engage in important discussions that help change America.”
Museum officials said they do not know who placed the noose but the investigation is ongoing.
This was the second such incident in less than a week at a Smithsonian Institution museum. A noose was found hanging from a tree outside the Hirshhorn Museum on Friday.
• Carleton Bryant can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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