A noose was found in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, the second time in a week that a noose has been found on Smithsonian grounds.
The African-American museum was shut down for almost three hours after a noose was spotted in the history gallery where an exhibit about segregation is located, according to ABC News.
"It’s shocking that in 2017 we still have this type of bigotry," said Lori Nzekwe, who was visiting the museum with her 6-year-old daughter on Wednesday, according to ABC News.
David J. Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, sent out an emailed announcement about the "deeply disturbing" incident, according to The Washington Post.
"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," Skorton wrote in the memo.
"Today’s incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African Americans continue to face," Lonnie Bunch III, the museum’s founding director, said in a statement, according to ABC News. "This was a horrible act, but it is a stark reminder of why our work is so important."
"The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity – a symbol of extreme violence for African Americans," Bunch said, according to The Washington Post.
Skorton said the incident is under investigation by U.S. Park Police.
Last Friday, police were performing a security check when they found a noose hanging from a tree outside the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum, ABC News noted.
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