The American Museum of Natural History in New York City began the removal of former President Theodore Roosevelt’s statue on Tuesday.
Protesters have long criticized the bronze statue depicting Roosevelt on a horse flanked by an African man and a Native American man on foot as a supposed representation of racism and colonialism.
As of Wednesday, the upper part of the statue had been lifted, and the rest of the monument was set to leave its current place in several parts by the end of the week, according to The New York Times.
The removal of a Theodore Roosevelt statue at the Natural History Museum in Manhattan, which stirred protests as a symbol of colonialism and racism, has begun. It will be sent to his presidential library in North Dakota in a few weeks. https://t.co/QdKcfWEzDG pic.twitter.com/mnqJXYZ3Du
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 19, 2022
The relocation of the monument to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota — approved by a unanimous vote of the New York City Public Design Commission in June 2021 — reportedly will cost $2 million, according to the New York Post. (RELATED: Virginia Removes 131-Year-Old Robert E. Lee Statue Following Legal Battle)
“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,” former Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the time of the vote.
“The process, conducted with historic preservation specialists and approved by multiple New York City agencies, will include restoration of the plaza in front of the Museum, which will continue through the spring,” a spokesperson for the museum said, according to NBC News. “The Museum is proud to continue as the site of New York State’s official memorial to Theodore Roosevelt,” the spokesperson added.