A statue of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, will be removed from the front steps of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio - who said in a Sunday evening statement that the museum made the request.
"As we strive to advance our institution’s, our City’s, and our country’s passionate quest for racial justice, we believe that removing the Statue will be a symbol of progress and of our commitment to build and sustain an inclusive and equitable Museum community and broader society," said museum President Ellen Futter of the bronze statue which has stood at the institution's Central Park West entrance since 1940.
The statue features Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man who are standing next to the horse. In 2017, it was coated in red liquid by protesters, who called for its removal as a symbol of "patriarchy, white supremacy and settler-colonialism."
Ms. Futter made clear that the museum’s decision was based on the statue itself — namely its “hierarchical composition”—- and not on Roosevelt, whom the museum continues to honor as “a pioneering conservationist.”
“Simply put,” she added, “the time has come to move it.” -NYT
According to the NYT, it is unknown when the statue will come down or where it will end up. According to the report, de Blasio says the city supports the museum's request, and that "It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue."
Teddy Roosevelt, whose face is on Mount Rushmore, served as the governor of New York from 1899 to 1900. During the Spanish-American war he lead the Rough Riders - the United States' first volunteer cavalry, returning a national hero.
As president, he expanded the Navy, began construction of the Panama Canal, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for brokering the end of the Russo-Japanese war. By the late 1970s he was consistently rated one of the top five best US presidents by the heads of 100 history departments.
Tear the entire museum down. It's on stolen land. It has to go. https://t.co/oAKLZYvquk— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) June 21, 2020