The Theodore Roosevelt statue in front of New York’s Museum of Natural History will finally be removed
On Monday, the New York City Public Design Commission voted unanimously to remove the statue, marking the final step after a year of discussion.
Sam Biederman, chief of staff and assistant commissioner at NYC Parks, called the move to remove the statue “incredibly rare,” but “the right course of action.”
“Though historical circumstances demonstrate that this sculpture was not erected with malice of intent, the compositional hierarchy … visually supports the thematic framework of colonization and racism,” he said during Monday’s meeting.
Mayor Bill de Blasio supported the removal effort last year, calling it “the right decision and the right time” in a statement to CNN.
“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,” his office said at the time.
Though the statue’s new home has not yet been determined, the city and museum will coordinate a long-term loan of the statue to publicly accessible grounds or a cultural institution dedicated to Roosevelt, officials with NYC’s Public Design Commission said.