NEW YORK (Reuters) – Workers on Wednesday dismantled a towering statue of President Theodore Roosevelt from outside New York City’s American Museum of Natural History.
The “Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt,” commissioned in 1925 and unveiled to the public in 1940, depicts Roosevelt on a horse, with a Native American man and an African man on foot at his side. It has been criticized by some as a symbol of colonialism and racism.
The New York City Public Design Commission voted last June to remove it, the museum said on its website. Its new destination will be the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota, the New York Times reported.
The museum on its website said it was proud of its long association with the Roosevelt family, adding: “At the same time, the statue itself communicates a racial hierarchy the Museum and members of the public have long found disturbing.”
Roosevelt, who was president from 1901 to 1909, was known for his exuberant and daring manner. He implemented antitrust and conservationist reforms, though critics said he took an interventionist approach to foreign policy, including projecting U.S. naval power around the world.
(Reporting by Matthew Lewis in Chicago and Reuters Television in New York, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)