A noose was found on Wednesday in an exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., a spokeswoman for the Smithsonian Institution said.
The spokeswoman said that the museum called U.S. Park police to remove the noose and investigate.
A Park Police spokeswoman confirmed that the agency was investigating but declined to provide any further details.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is part of the Smithsonian, which includes 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park.
It had 30.2 million visits last year, according to its website.
“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,” the institution’s secretary, David Skorton, told the staff in an internal email. “We will not be intimidated.”
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz and Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)