Workers have removed the iconic statue that had stood in front of the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan since 1940.
The monument depicts Roosevelt on horseback with an African man and Native American man – both on foot- by his side. “It has been criticized by some as a symbol of colonialism and racism,” according to Reuters.
The Roosevelt statue will be relocated to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota.
“Over the last few weeks, our museum community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd,” the museum’s president, Ellen V. Futter, told the New York Times at the time. “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.”
“Simply put,” Futter added, “the time has come to move it.” Radical Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio also endorsed removing the “problematic statue” at the time. These attempts to move it were protested by the patriot and President of The New York Young Republican Club Gavin Wax and his club.
On November 19, 2021, the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation announced in a release that it “entered into an agreement with the City of New York for the long-term loan and reconsideration of the Equestrian Statue.”
The press release read “The board of the TR Library believes the Equestrian Statue is problematic in its composition. Moreover, its current location denies passersby consent and context. The agreement with the City allows the TR Library to relocate the statue for storage while considering a display that would enable it to serve as an important tool to study the nation’s past. With the support of members of the Roosevelt family, the TR Library will establish an Advisory Council composed of representatives of the Indigenous Tribal and Black communities, historians, scholars, and artists to guide the recontextualization of the statue.”