Speed Reads

'a painful reminder'

Noose found inside an exhibition on segregation at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

A noose was found Wednesday at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Visitors discovered the noose at an exhibition on segregation, prompting the exhibition to close for almost three hours as the U.S. Park Police arrived on the scene to investigate the incident and to remove the noose.

The museum's founding director, Lonnie Bunch III, called the incident "a painful reminder of the challenges that African-Americans continue to face." "The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity — a symbol of extreme violence for African-Americans," Bunch said in a statement. David Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, vowed to "not be intimidated" by such an "act of hatred and intolerance, especially repugnant in a museum that affirms and celebrates the American values of inclusion and diversity." The museum was opened last year by former President Barack Obama.

Last Friday, a noose was found hanging on a tree outside of another Smithsonian museum in D.C., the Hirshhorn Museum of contemporary art.