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Theodore Roosevelt statue to be removed from Museum of Natural History as row over racist symbols rages on

THE statue of Theodore Roosevelt perched outside the American Museum of Natural History in New York City will be removed.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday the museum asked that the statue at the entrance to the museum on Manhattan’s Upper West Side be “removed.”

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The statue of Theodore Roosevelt outside the American Museum of Natural History will soon be removed[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

The statue welcomes museum-goers on the park’s entrance near Central Park[/caption]

“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 in a statement.

“The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”

Roosevelt was the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909 after he served as the governor of New York.

His statue, which has stood outside the museum’s entrance since 1940, shows Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man standing next to the horse.

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In 2017, protesters covered the statue with a red substance[/caption]

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Roosevelt, as noted by his statue, served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 until 1909[/caption]

The museum’s president, Ellen Futter, told The New York Times that the museum’s “community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd.”

“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,” Futter said.

Officials said it’s not yet been determined when the statue will be removed, or where it will go.

Futter said that in place of the statue, the museum will be named its Hall of Biodivery for Roosevelt to recognize “his conservation legacy.”

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The statue shows Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man standing next to the horse[/caption]

Roosevelt’s great-grandson, Theodore Roosevelt IV, said in a statement 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 statue is the latest to be removed as protesters across the US work to take down memorials dedicated to supporters of the Confederacy, or racist symbols.

In 2017, protesters splashed red liquid on the Roosevelt statue base to represent blood and called for its removal as an emblem of “patriarchy, white supremacy, and settler-colonialism.”

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Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday the museum said they asked that it be removed[/caption]

Nearby in Manhattan, protesters have called for the statue of Christopher Columbus, located in Columbus Circle near Central Park, to be removed.

Critics have said Columbus’ brutality toward Indigenous peoples is reason to remove the 70-foot tall statue.

The Manhattan statue was put up in 1892 as the Italian American community attempted to overcome prejudice and assimilate into American society.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is Italian American, defended the statue earlier this month, but said he understands the conversation around it.

“I understand the feelings about Christopher Columbus and some of his acts, which nobody would support,” Cuomo said.

“But the statue has come to represent and signify appreciation for the Italian American contribution to New York,” he added. “So for that reason, I support it.”

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