The American Museum of Natural History will remove a prominent statue of Theodore Roosevelt from its entrance after years of objections that it symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.
The bronze statue that has stood at the museum’s Central Park West entrance since 1940 depicts Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man standing next to the horse.
“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 written statement. “The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”
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.”