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Statement on Efforts to Collect Objects at Lafayette Square

June 11, 2020

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of American History and the Anacostia Community Museum today released the following statement on their efforts to collect objects at Lafayette Square, one of several sites in Washington, D.C. where thousands gathered to protest police brutality and the killing of George Floyd.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of American History and the Anacostia Community Museum have formed a coalition to document, collect and preserve the expressions of protest and hope from Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C.

Collecting and accessioning artifacts into the Smithsonian’s national collection is complex and involves many levels of work. At this stage, the Smithsonian cannot confirm which objects will become a part of its official collection. 

Recognizing that the tragic killing of George Floyd has spurred a transformative time in U.S. history, the Smithsonian Institution is collecting today so that the world, in the present and future, can understand the role that race has played in our complicated 400-year history.  This coalition of museums will enable Smithsonian curators to work together with activists and groups on the ground to ensure that this grassroots-led community movement and pivotal moment is accurately documented.