Teddy Roosevelt statue removed from Museum of National History

On Wednesday, the statue of Theodore Roosevelt that has stood at the entrance of the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan was taken away as photos show.

The monument, showing the nation’s 26th president on a horse with an African man and a Native man nearby, had been at the museum for more than 80 years.

The statue has often been the subject of protests claiming it glorifies colonialism as well as racism, but it was taken away just after midnight, leaving only a concrete pedestal. Officials have said that the monument will be sent to a library in North Dakota on a long-term loan.

The removal, which amounted to $2 million and was carried out by the museum and the city, followed the New York City Public Design Commission voting in June of last year to relocate the statue. 

The 10-foot-tall monument was covered with an orange tarp last month just ahead of its shipment to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota.

A former descendent of the president, Theodore Roosevelt V, celebrated the removal plan last year, commenting it’s “Fitting that the statue is being relocated to a place where its composition can be recontextualized to facilitate difficult, complex, and inclusive discussions. 

The statue came under criticism during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests across the nation which had been sparked by the death of George Floyd in May of that year. But still, some critics are calling the relocation of the statue a win for cancel culture as well as a blow to history.

“Let’s face it: In today’s culture, someone will take offense to everything in America’s past. Yet if we cave to every grievance, there will be no history left to display,” wrote the New York Post Editorial Board last year following the decision to remove the statue. 




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