Three people were arrested at the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum after pouring human blood and ashes on the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan.
The Sunday afternoon incident closed the controversial exhibit for about two hours. The B-29 that dropped the bomb Aug. 6, 1945, on Hiroshima did not appear to be marked when the exhibit reopened. A Park Police spokesman said charges had not yet been placed and the identities of those detained not confirmed.
Witnesses at the time of the incident said about 15 people lagged behind a group that had been admitted and started screaming "We repent. We regret." Then several protesters started pouring a red liquid under the fuselage of the Enola Gay and tossing white dust in the air. Other protesters handed out pamphlets.
"There were frightened kids," said Irwin Yuen, a tourist from San Francisco. "That was the worst thing about it. Children were just crying."
U.S. veterans groups had complained the original plan focused too much on the damage and deaths caused by the bomb. Anti-bomb groups claimed the exhibit had been too forgiving of the U.S. role.
The scaled-back display concentrates on the aircraft and crew and says little of the consequences.