FILE- In this May 1, 2017, file photo, people wait in line to enter the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Cultural on the National Mall in Washington. Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton said in a statement that a noose was found on Wednesday, May 31, in the Segregation Gallery of the museum. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Noose discovered at national African-American museum in Washington, D.C.

A Smithsonian police officer on Friday found a noose hanging from a tree outside the Hirshhorn Museum.

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"The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity — a symbol of extreme violence for African-Americans,” Lonnie Bunch, director of the African-American history museum, wrote in an email to staff on Wednesday, according to Smithsonian magazine’s website. “Today's incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African-Americans continue to face.”

The Associated Press reported that the gallery containing an exhibit on segregation was closed for about three hours while U.S. Park Police investigated the incident.

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“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,” Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton wrote to all employees of the Smithsonian Institution. 

“We will not be intimidated. Cowardly acts like these will not, for one moment, prevent us from the vital work we do.”
In tweets last week, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser decried the discovery of the first noose.

U.S. Park Police were already investigating the discovery of the noose at the Hirshhorn, which features contemporary art and culture. Now they have a second discovery to deal with.

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