Controversial Roosevelt statue outside New York museum moved to North Dakota

The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation announced in a statement that a statue of US President Theodore Roosevelt has found a new home.

The statue, which formerly stood in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, will now reside in Medora, North Dakota. 

According to the statement released on Friday, the statue will be on loan to the newly announced Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library that is expected to open in Medora in 2026.

Vicky Been, New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, was quoted in the statement: “We are grateful to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library for proposing a fitting new home for the Equestrian Statue.”

She continued, “This long-term loan would allow an important part of the City’s art collection to be appropriately contextualized, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Library on next steps.” 

The Equestrian Statue shows Roosevelt on horseback, with a Native American man on one side and a black man on the other. A request to have the statue removed said that the messaging in the statue conveyed a “racial hierarchy that the museum and members of the public have long found disturbing.

The New York City Public Design Commission unanimously voted to remove and store the statue temporarily in June following years of debate. The statement added that they “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.”

Roosevelt’s descendants have said they support the decision to move the statue to the planned North Dakota presidential library. “The Equestrian Statue is problematic in its hierarchical depiction of its subjects and should be removed from New York State’s official memorial to Theodore Roosevelt,” said Theodore Roosevelt V, a descendent of the President. “Rather than burying a troubling work of art, we ought to learn from it.” 




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