The Rough Rider will soon dismount.
The statue of President Teddy Roosevelt at the entrance to the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan will be removed amid widespread protests over racial inequality and police brutality in the United States, The New York Times reported Sunday.
The statue, depicting the former president on horseback while flanked by a Native-American man and a black man, has stood at the museum’s entrance since 1940.
The museum — which is privately run but sits on public land — requested the statue be moved and the city agreed, according to the report.
“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 Futter, told the Times.
“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.”
The statue has been criticized — and defaced — in the past for glorifying colonialism and racism.
In October 2017, amid a national spate of statue vandalizations following the violence sparked by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, Va., somebody splashed the bronze statue with red paint.
The planned departure of the Roosevelt sculpture came as some City Council members asked Mayor de Blasio last week to remove the statue of Thomas Jefferson from City Hall on the grounds that he “fathered as many as six children with a woman he enslaved.”
The Jefferson and Roosevelt statues aren’t the only two historic sculptures under the microscope in New York City.
There have been repeated attempts to remove Christopher Columbus’ statue from Columbus Circle because of the navigator’s maltreatment and enslavement of indigenous people in the Caribbean.
While that particular Columbus statue remains intact, others of the Italian in Richmond, Va., and Boston, Mass., weren’t so lucky.
Earlier this month, the one in Virginia was dismantled and chucked in a lake, while the Boston statue was beheaded amid ongoing protests.
Additional reporting by Kenneth Garger