Updated Jun 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

American Museum of Natural History to remove Roosevelt statue

Theodore Roosevelt statue outside the American Museum of Natural History.
Theodore Roosevelt statue outside the American Museum of Natural History. Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

The American Museum of Natural History in New York announced on Sunday that it has asked for the removal from its front entrance of a bronze statue of Theodore Roosevelt, noting the "racial hierarchy it depicts."

Why it matters: Monuments of historical figures with ties to slavery and the dispossession of indigenous peoples have become flashpoints during anti-racism protests in recent weeks.

  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement he supported the decision to remove the "problematic statue," unveiled in 1940.
  • De Blasio noted it "explicitly depicts black and indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior," with the late president on horseback and a Native American and African man standing by his side.

The other side: President Trump reacted to the plans by tweeting early on Monday, "Ridiculous, don't do it!"

  • Trump last week described protesters calling for statues to be removed as an "unhinged left-wing mob" and accused them of "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," Reuters notes.

Go deeper: Confederate monuments become flashpoints in protests against racism

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Trump's comments and more context.

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