A man was wounded in a stabbing outside the British Museum in central London on Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police said, adding that it was an isolated incident and was not being treated as related to terrorism.
A male suspect was under arrest.
The victim, who was stabbed in the arm, was taken to the hospital, the police said in a statement. The attack occurred at about 10 a.m. near the front entrance of the museum, one of London’s most popular tourist attractions. The museum was evacuated and later closed for about two hours.
By midday, there was a heavy police presence outside the museum, and several nearby restaurants had closed.
The British Museum, which had more than four million visits last year, said in a statement that it had increased security. By early afternoon, the museum had reopened, and a line of several hundred people waited outside to enter.
Lindsay McCollum, who was visiting London from California, said she been waiting to enter the museum for just a few minutes when she heard about the attack.
“We’re in a big city, and things happen,” said Ms. McCollum, 46.
Another tourist, Spencer Havener, 25, from Colorado, said he had been waiting in line when he saw droves of people rushing out of the building. He had planned to visit the museum because of London’s weather on Tuesday.
“I figured it was rainy today, good day to go to the museum, walk around inside,” he said.
Knife crime in Britain has been a persistent problem, although in the year ending in March 2023, the number of attacks was 7 percent lower than prepandemic levels, according to the latest government figures.
In 2016, one person was killed and five others were wounded in a late-night knife attack in Russell Square, a park close to the British Museum in the Bloomsbury district. A 19-year-old man pleaded guilty to manslaughter.