After a contentious year of debate and national attention, the Theodore Roosevelt statue in front of the American Museum of Natural History is set to finally come down.
Per the NY Times “the New York City Public Design Commission voted unanimously at a public meeting Monday to relocate the statue by long-term loan to a cultural institution dedicated to the life and legacy of the former president.”
“The vote follows years of protest and adverse public reaction over the statue as a symbol of colonialism, largely because of the Native American and African men who are depicted flanking Roosevelt on a horse. Those objections led the museum in June 2020 to propose removing the statue. New York City, which owns the building and property, agreed to the suggestion, and Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed his support,” the report adds.
A mayoral commission panel wrote in their report they delivered in 2018 “Height is power in public art, and Roosevelt’s stature on his noble steed visibly expresses dominance and superiority over the Native American and African figures.”
Dan Slippen, vice president of government relations at the museum said at this Monday’s meeting “the understanding of statues and monuments as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism became even more evident in the wake of the movement for racial justice that emerged after the murder of George Floyd.”
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“It has become clear that removing the statue would be a symbol of progress toward an inclusive and equitable community,” he added.