Roosevelt statue to be removed from NYC’s Museum of Natural History
A statue depicting former President Theodore Roosevelt located in front of New York’s Museum of Natural History will be taken down due to concerns about the statue’s racist depictions.
The New York Times reported that museum staff and city officials have come to an agreement to take down the statue, which depicts the former president on horseback leading two figures on foot, one Native American and one African.
“Over the last few weeks, our museum community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd,” the museum’s president Ellen Futter told the Times. “We have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism.
“Simply put, the time has come to move it,” she continued.
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) confirmed the statue’s removal in a statement to the Times.
“The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” de Blasio said. “The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”
The statue’s removal follows efforts by protesters around the country to tear down statues depicting Confederate figures as well as others depicting figures from history such as Christopher Columbus, the explorer credited with discovering the Americas for European powers who is controversial due to his role in the transatlantic slave trade.