A section of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. was cleared of visitors and blocked off for some time Wednesday because a noose was discovered on the floor of one of the rooms.
BuzzFeed News reports that the noose found Wednesday is actually the second such incident in recent weeks; on May 27, a noose was found hanging from a tree outside the Hirshhorn Museum. Unlike the noose discovered last week, Wednesday’s incident was much more direct: the noose was discovered by a tourist inside the Era of Segregation 1786-1968 gallery, according to Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas. The noose hanging outside the Hirshhorn museum last week was the first ever discovered on Smithsonian property, St. Thomas said. But the noose on the floor of a historical gallery in a museum dedicated to the history of the African American experience is quite another. “We do consider this one to be different,” she told BuzzFeed. “In this case it’s clearly a message to the museum.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, fouding director Lonnie Burch III called the incident a “horrible act.”
Both incidents are being investigated by the US Park Police. Informing staff of the discovery via an email obtained by BuzzFeed, Smithsonian director David Skorton wrote, “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. We will not be intimidated.”