American Museum of Natural History takes down Theodore Roosevelt’s 1940 statue that “symbolizes discrimination”

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 22, 2020

File photo of the statue of Theodore Roosevelt outside the American Museum of Natural History was covered with a blood-like substance by activists demanding its remoa, in New York.   -  Reuters

The American Museum of Natural History announced that it will take down a statue of Theodore Roosevelt that “symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the decision to take down the statue following the Black Lives Matter movement across the globe as per reports.

The movement opposes systematic racism and police brutality and has gained momentum after the killing of a black man George Floyd who dies in police custody.

The bronze statue looming over the front steps on Central Park West since 1940 depicts the 26th American President on horseback with a Native American man and an African man standing next to the horse.

“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," de Blasio said in a written statement as quoted by a Forbes report.

"The City supports the Museum''s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue,” he said.

The museum''s president, Ellen Futter, told the New York Times that the decision has been taken owing to the nationwide movement opposing racial discrimination with people turning to statues as “powerful and hurtful symbols” of racism.

The decision, however, does not reflect on Roosevelt’s legacy as he remains one of the most important Presidents of the US.

“The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt''s legacy,” said Roosevelt’s great-grandson Theodore Roosevelt IV as quoted by the Times.

Protestors across the globe have targeted statues amid the ongoing movement against racial discrimination and systematic racism. Previously, statues of Robert Clive and Winston Churchill were targeted in the United Kingdom. Protestors in the United States had also taken down a statue of Christopher Columbus in Minnesota and Boston as per reports.

Published on June 22, 2020

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