New York's Museum of Natural History to take down iconic Roosevelt statue

The statue has stood at the entrance of the museum since 1940, and depicts Roosevelt on a horse with a black man and a Native American man by his side.

Theodore Roosevelt. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Theodore Roosevelt.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
New York's Museum of Natural History will remove the iconic statue of former US president Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt due to the widespread protests over racism and police brutality that have seen calls for monuments of controversial historical figures to be removed, The New York Times reported.
The statue has stood at the entrance of the museum since 1940, and depicts Roosevelt on a horse with a black man and a Native American man by his side.
The perceived racism in the statue has been a subject of criticism for years, and the statue had been defaced and vandalized by protesters in the past.
Though the museum is privately owned and operated, the land it's on is owned by the city. As such, they had to ask the city for approval to remove the statue, which the city agreed to do.
Speaking to the Times, museum president Ellen Futter explained that the decision to finally remove the statue was motivated by the ongoing wave of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man who was killed on May 25 in Minneapolis by police officers.
“Over the last few weeks, our museum community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd,” she explained.
“We have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism,” she added. “Simply put, the time has come to move it.”
US President Donald Trump condemned the matter. Trump shared The Washington Times report on the incident, and wrote, "Ridiculous, don't do it!"

""The unhinged left-wing mob is trying to vandalize our history, desecrate our monuments - our beautiful monuments - tear down our statues and punish, cancel and persecute anyone who does not conform to their demands for absolute and total control. We're not conforming," the US president told supporters at a rally last week.

Reuters contributed to this report.