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Roosevelt statue to be removed from museum of natural history.

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The equestrian memorial to Theodore Roosevelt has long prompted objections as a symbol of colonialism and racism.

The statue of Theodore Roosevelt outside the Museum of Natural History, under police watch, will be coming down. It has drawn many protests in recent years.
The statue of Theodore Roosevelt outside the Museum of Natural History, under police watch, will be coming down. It has drawn many protests in recent years.Credit…Caitlin Ochs for The New York

The bronze statue of Theodore Roosevelt, on horseback and flanked by a Native American man and an African man, which has presided over the entrance to the American Museum of Natural History in New York since 1940, is coming down.

The decision, proposed by the museum and agreed to by New York City, which owns the building and property, came after years of objections from activists and at a time when the killing of George Floyd has initiated an urgent nationwide conversation about racism.

For many, the equestrian statue at the museum’s Central Park West entrance has come to symbolize a painful legacy of colonial expansion and racial discrimination.

“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,” the museum’s president, Ellen V. Futter.

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