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Roosevelt statue to be removed from American Museum of Natural History

A statue of Theodore Roosevelt outside the American Museum of Natural History in New York City that has been criticized for symbolizing colonialism and racism will be removed, the city announced Sunday, according to ABC News.

Roosevelt statue to be removed from American Museum of Natural History

Roosevelt statue to be removed from American Museum of Natural History

STEPANAKERT, JUNE 22, ARTSAKHPRESS:  The statue, which is owned by the city, was unveiled in 1940 and sits on public park land outside the museum's Central Park West entrance. The memorial features Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man by his side.

"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," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. "The City supports the Museum's request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue."

In a statement on its website, the museum, which is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, said the statue has "long been controversial because of the hierarchical composition that places one figure on horseback and the others walking alongside, and many of us find its depictions of the Native American and African figures and their placement in the monument racist."

The museum said a city commission considered removing the statue in 2017 and 2018 but didn't reach a consensus. The city "directed that it should stay in place with additional interpretation and context to be provided by the Museum," the statement said.

Last year, the museum debuted an exhibition on the statue's history and modern-day reactions, but that "in the current moment, it is abundantly clear that this approach is not sufficient."


     

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