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The façade of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (photo by Alvesgaspar/Wikimedia Commons)

On Saturday afternoon, a noose was found hanging from a lamppost outside the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Associated Press reported. The US Park Police is investigating the incident.

It was the third time in the past month that a noose has been found in or near one of the museums on the National Mall. On May 31, a noose was discovered inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture; on May 26, one was found near the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

As CNN reported, the racist symbol has turned up at least five times throughout the DC area in recent months, from the National Mall to the University of Maryland campus.

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Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...