NY museum to remove Roosevelt statue

The statue of former President Theodore Roosevelt that sits in front of the the American Museum of Natural History will be taken down after officials voted unanimously to do so Monday.

The New York City Public Design Commission on Monday voted to relocate the statue to a cultural institution dedicated to Roosevelt’s legacy, according to The New York Times.

The museum staff and city officials had agreed last year amid protests over racial injustice that the statue should be removed due concerns over its racist depictions. The statue shows Roosevelt on horseback leading an African man and a Native American man who are following on foot.

“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,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the time. “The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”

Sam Biederman, chief of staff for New York City Parks, said during the public meeting that although the statue “was not erected with malice of intent,” its makeup still “supports a thematic framework of colonization and racism,” the Times reports.

Dan Slippen, vice president of government affairs at the American Museum of Natural History said at the meeting, “The understanding of statues and monuments as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism became even more evident in the wake of the movement for racial justice that emerged after the murder of George Floyd.”

“It has become clear that removing the statue would be a symbol of progress toward an inclusive and equitable community,” Slippen added.

Tags American Museum of Natural History Bill de Blasio Theodore Roosevelt
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