A statue of President Theodore Roosevelt in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City will be removed, a statement from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said Sunday.
Following the museum’s request to remove the statue, which features the nation’s 26th President on a horse with a Native American man standing on one side and an African man standing on the other, the mayor’s office announced the approval.
The announcement comes as several state’s grapple with how to handle removals of confederate monuments and other controversial statues.
“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’s office said in a statement to CNN. “The city supports the museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”
While it was meant to celebrate Roosevelt as a “devoted naturalist and author of works on natural history,” the statue also “communicates a racial hierarchy that the museum and members of the public have long found disturbing,” a press release on the museum’s website said.