WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMC) - Tourists visiting the only museum dedicated to documenting African American life, history, and culture found an unexpected sight when they arrived Wednesday.
A noose was found inside the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture's exhibition on segregation, according to News4 in Washington.
The Smithsonian Institution said U.S. Park Police removed the noose.
While the noose was being removed, the gallery was closed for approximately an hour, according to NBC4.
In a press release from the Smithsonian Institution, multiple other incidents similar to this one have happened across the country.
"Other nooses have been found on the Duke University campus, the Port of Oakland in California, a fraternity house at the University of Maryland, a middle school in Maryland, and at a high school in Lakewood, California. All of them seem to be part of a larger wave of violence, intimidation and hate crimes."
NBC4 also reports there was a noose found hanging from a tree outside the Hirshorn Museum Friday.
The museum's founding director Lonnie Bunch III released a statement on Twitter expressing the meaning behind the noose.
"The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity - a symbol of extreme violence for African Americans," Bunch said. "Today's incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African Americans continue to face."
The National Museum of African American History and Culture, according to its website, has collected over 36,000 artifacts since its beginning in 2016. The museum also has almost 100,000 individuals who have become charter members.
On September 24, 2016, the museum opened its doors and became the 19th newest member of the Smithsonian Institution.