BOSTON (CBS) – The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston says it has banned two members for making racist comments to students who were on a field trip.
The museum says it reviewed hours of surveillance video recorded on May 16 when students from the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy visited. The MFA identified two visitors who made racist comments.
“We have identified the patrons who made the disparaging remarks and revoked their membership, banning them from the Museum’s grounds,” the MFA said. “We will serve them with a no-trespass cease-and-desist notification.”
The students said they also heard a racist remark from an employee and that security guards followed them.
“Before we even entered the museum, the lady was explaining to us the rules, so she said, ‘No food, no drink, no watermelon,’” teacher Marvelyn Lamy told WBZ.
According to the MFA, “The employee who greeted the group recalled relaying as part of standard operating procedures that ‘no food, no drink and no water bottles’ were allowed in the galleries.” The museum said it could not corroborate whether the employee said something racist.
After reviewing surveillance video of the security guards, the museum says guards went on and off breaks and overlapped as they moved from one area to another as the group visited a number of galleries.
“Based on surveillance footage, it is understandable that, because of this movement, the students felt followed. That was not our intention,” the museum said.
The museum said it will change its security procedures so that all people feel welcome.