Statue of Theodore Roosevelt will be removed from Natural History museum in New York City
The American Museum of Natural History requested that the statue be removed from the museum’s entrance, and the decision was approved by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
The American Museum of Natural History in New York City will remove a controversial statue of President Theodore Roosevelt, which has stood in front of the museum for nearly 80 years, according to the New York Times.
The statue has been the subject of criticism for years, The Washington Post reported. It depicts the former president on horseback, while he is flanked by a Native American man and an African man on foot.
Critics claim that the statue represents racial hierarchy and colonialism, according to the Post.
It is because of the “hierarchical composition” of the piece and not because of Roosevelt himself that the museum decided to remove the statue, according to the Times.
The decision to remove the statue has been approved by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to CNN.
“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’s office told CNN in a statement. “The city supports the museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”
However, President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted that the decision was “ridiculous” and told the museum “don’t do it!”
But the museum’s decision has the approval of 77-year-old Theodore Roosevelt IV, who is the great-grandson of President Roosevelt and a trustee of the museum, according to the Times.
“The world does not need statues, relics of another age, that reflect neither the values of the person they intend to honor nor the values of equality and justice,” said Theodore Roosevelt IV, according to the Times. “The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy. It is time to move the statue and move forward.”
The decision to remove the statue of Roosevelt comes amid protests over racial injustice following the death of George Floyd, which has started a debate over the role of statues and monuments that depict controversial historical figures, the Times reported.
Around the world, protesters have pulled down and vandalized statues of Confederate generals, as well as figures like Christopher Columbus and others with ties to slavery and imperialism, according to the Associated Press.
It has not yet been decided when the statue of Roosevelt will be removed or where it will go, or whether it will be replaced, according to the Times.