Tags: George Floyd Protests | teddy roosevelt statue | american museum of natural history | new york city

Teddy Roosevelt Statue to Be Removed at New York City Museum

a statue of president teddy roosevelt in new york city
A statue of President Teddy Roosevelt in New York City (mpi43/MediaPunch/IPX)

By    |   Monday, 22 June 2020 09:11 AM

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."

President Donald Trump said Monday he opposes the move, which comes amid anti-racism protests across the U.S. and the world after the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis.

"Ridiculous, don't do it!" Trump said on Twitter.

Roosevelt, a Republican like Trump, served from 1901 to 1909. Known for his exuberant and daring manner, he carried out antitrust, conservationist and "Square Deal" reforms, and, critics said, took an interventionist approach to foreign policy, including projecting U.S. naval power around the world.

Many critics have said the Roosevelt statue symbolizes racial discrimination and colonial expansion.

In the ongoing ant-racism demonstrations, protesters across the U.S. and around the world have demanded that authorities take down monuments honoring pro-slavery Confederate figures and the architects of Europe's colonies.

"Simply put, the time has come to move it," the New York City museum's president Ellen Futter told The New York Times.

She said the museum's decision was based on the statue itself, along with its "hierarchical composition," and not on Roosevelt. Futter said the museum continues to honor Roosevelt as "a pioneering conservationist."

Roosevelt's face is also one of the four presidents — along with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln — whose faces are cast in 60-foot-high granite sculptures at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.

Trump has blasted the anti-racism protests, saying demonstrators have behaved badly.

"The unhinged left-wing mob is trying to vandalize our history, desecrate our monuments — our beautiful monuments — tear down our statues and punish, cancel and persecute anyone who does not conform to their demands for absolute and total control. We're not conforming," Trump said at his Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally Saturday night.

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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.
teddy roosevelt statue, american museum of natural history, new york city
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2020-11-22
Monday, 22 June 2020 09:11 AM
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