Theodore Roosevelt statue to be removed by New York museum

(BBC) – A bronze statue of former US President Theodore Roosevelt is to be removed amid an ongoing backlash against symbols of racial bias and imperialism.

The statue outside the American Museum of Natural History in New York shows Roosevelt on horseback flanked by a Native American man and an African man.

A great-grandson of the president agreed with the removal, saying it did not reflect Roosevelt’s legacy.

But President Donald Trump tweeted: “Ridiculous, don’t do it!”

There has been a heated debate in the United States over the appropriateness of certain statues and commemorations since the death in police custody of African American George Floyd.

Symbols linked to the US Confederacy, which supported slavery, and imperial acquisition, such as Christopher Columbus, have been particularly targeted in the US.

But the anti-statue campaign, arising from the Black Lives Matter movement, has spread globally, with monuments targeted in a number of countries.

What’s behind the museum’s decision?

The statue has stood outside the museum’s Central Park West entrance since 1940.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday: “The museum has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts black and indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior.”

He said he backed the decision, adding it was “the right time to remove this problematic statue”.

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