Is Teddy Roosevelt Statue Being Removed From Museum of Natural History?

In recent years, there has been a growing movement to remove statues and monuments that are deemed offensive or controversial. One such statue that has come under scrutiny is the Theodore Roosevelt statue located outside of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

The statue, which was unveiled in 1940, depicts Theodore Roosevelt on horseback with an African man and a Native American man standing on either side of him. The statue has long been criticized for its portrayal of these two marginalized groups as subservient to the white male figure of Roosevelt.

The Controversy

The controversy surrounding the statue came to a head in June 2020 when protesters gathered outside of the museum calling for its removal. The protests were sparked by the killing of George Floyd, which reignited discussions about systemic racism and police brutality in the United States.

Critics argue that the statue perpetuates racist stereotypes and celebrates colonialism and imperialism. They also point out that Roosevelt himself had a complicated legacy when it comes to issues of race and colonialism, making him an inappropriate figure to honor with a statue in front of a museum dedicated to science and education.

The Decision

On June 21, 2020, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would be removing the statue from its location outside of the museum. The decision was made after consultation with museum officials and community leaders.

The museum itself has also come out in support of the decision to remove the statue. In a statement released on their website, they acknowledged that while Roosevelt was a significant historical figure, “the composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy” and “it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior.”

What Happens Next?

While there is widespread support for removing the statue from its current location, there is still debate over what should happen to it next. Some have called for the statue to be destroyed or melted down, while others believe it should be relocated to a museum where its historical context can be better understood.

The fate of the statue remains uncertain, but one thing is clear: its removal from in front of the American Museum of Natural History marks another step in a larger movement to reassess how we honor historical figures and what symbols we choose to celebrate in public spaces.

  • Conclusion: The decision to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue from in front of the American Museum of Natural History has sparked debate and discussion about how we honor historical figures and what symbols we choose to celebrate in public spaces.