Following the museum’s request to remove the statue, which features the nation’s 26th President on a horse with a Native American man standing on one side and an African man standing on the other, the mayor’s office announced the approval.
“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 said in a statement to CNN. “The city supports the museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”
No date has been set for the removal and the mayor’s office is still working to determine next steps, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office told CNN Sunday.
“To understand the statue, we must recognize our country’s enduring legacy of racial discrimination — as well as Roosevelt’s troubling views on race,” the press release said. “We must also acknowledge the museum’s own imperfect history. Such an effort does not excuse the past but it can create a foundation for honest, respectful, open dialogue.”
The school will instead honor its lead designer Julian Abele, one of the first professional trained African American architects, according to a statement from the university.