Breaking: Teddy Roosevelt Statue Bloodied By Vandals

Photo by Sarah Verena.

Vandals covered the Teddy Roosevelt statue at the front of the Central Park West entrance to the Museum of Natural History with a red substance early Thursday morning. Police said the incident occurred sometime between 4 a.m. and 7:15 a.m., and they did not immediately know if the substance was paint or something else. No one had been arrested as of 8:45 a.m. and the investigation was ongoing.

Passers-by were shocked.

That statue has been targeted by activists looking to have it removed from the building because they say it is “a stark embodiment of the white patrician supremacy that Roosevelt himself espoused and promoted.”

In response to a prior question, the museum sounded open to changing the statue in some way.

“The Museum believes that the statue needs to be addressed, and several factors will figure into determining the exact approach. The Museum is conducting its own research and development process, but the decision on how to address the statue is not solely in the Museum’s control. The statue sits on New York City park land and as such is owned and managed by the City. This summer, the City created a commission to review statues and monuments on public land, and we expect the Roosevelt statue to be considered in that process.”

A museum spokesman did not have further information about what he meant by “needs to be addressed.”

Photo by Carol Tannenhauser.

Vandals also covered a Christopher Columbus statue in Central Park with red paint last month.

NEWS | 50 comments | permalink
    1. Jason says:

      Let’s be clear, the statue has not been “targeted by activists”, it has been targeted by criminals. Vandals that should be arrested and before thrown in jail they should have to clean it up and apologize to parents who had to walk their children by these scene.

      • noharmdone says:

        I may not agre with this vandalism. But I disagree that people should be arrested for non-violent crimes. This is why we have over 7 million people rotting in prison right now. In any case, no one was harmed and I am sure this red substance can be cleaned off the statue.

        • Jay says:

          So these criminals should feel free to spread pig’s blood in your apartment according to you?

          We live in a society. If you can’t be an adult and have a conversation in a meaningful way and instead choose vandalism, then maybe you should choose a different society to be a part of.

        • OriginalMark says:

          Totally disagree.
          People commit a crime, they take the chances. Arrest is the consequence.
          You think just because it’s non-violent they shouldn’t be arrested? So if someone stole money out of your pocket but didn’t harm you, they shouldn’t be arrested?

        • trollspotter says:

          Sexual harassment? No harm done.
          Racism and discrimination? No harm done.
          Theft of services and property? No harm done.
          Trespassing? Breaking and entering? No harm done.
          Pay to play in politics? No harm done.
          These are just a fraction of non-violent crimes that a segment of the “7 million people rotting in prison” would be roaming the streets doing over and over again under your view of criminality. Try again before making such careless statements…troll.

        • K. Hohllenbach says:

          Arrest doesn’t necessarily entail a jail sentence. There are other forms of appropriate criminal penalties available as options, and this should be recognized as a criminal act which warrants punishment.

        • Jason says:

          Other “non-violent” crimes include credit card fraud, racketeering, artificially inflating the value of mortgage backed securities, operating a multi-billion dollar ponzi scam, etc.

        • UWS-er says:

          C’mon. This is an insane statement. People shouldn’t be arrested for non-violent crimes? So someone hacks into your bank account and steals your money…hey, it’s all good?

    2. whatishappening says:

      This makes me very sad. I am disgusted by these tactics which only make me look down on their cause.

    3. Big Earl says:

      Morons. So sad to see how low some of our society has sunk.

    4. AC says:

      Should the board decide to remove this statue, in addition to no longer visiting the Museum, I will No longer be making financial contribution$.

    5. Carlos says:

      This is horrible. As I noted in prior posts, as a liberal Democrat, these people protesting trivial things like a Teddy Roosevelt statue are really giving the rest of us liberals a really bad name. Take your protests to Trump Tower and concern yourselves with real issues – this statue is the least of our concerns today.

      That being said, there is a small part of me that thinks this might have been done by counter-protestors who realize how ridiculous the protestors are and did this to make the protestors look even worse.

      • Scott says:

        I seriously doubt that. Trump voters tend to have jobs and are far too busy to do things like this. No, this is 100% Hillary supporters getting their freak on. Maybe they can visit her in prison in 2018, the way things are going.

      • Frank says:

        I agree – and you can almost only hope it’s a false flag – fake news type thing. But I’m afraid it’s not. It used to be the “wingnuts” were pretty much right wing nut jobs. But sadly, I’ve noticed more and more the left wing has more and more nut jobs too. And the left wing ones are more or less American misanthropes.

    6. Rob G. says:

      I’m convinced that whatever the cause du jour is, these animals will be on the front lines. Hopefully the security cameras were working and they will soon be staring at a stiff fine and jail sentence. But it is really bothersome that the museum itself is now getting into the act of whitewashing history by considering removal of the statue. If so, they are as complicit as these homegrown terrorists in the shredding of our culture.

    7. UWSHebrew says:

      Now NYC has become home to Antifa, like in CA. Thanks Democrats, for doing NOTHING to stop your fellow “liberals”. Can’t wait to see these true FASCISTS get caught.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        it’s interesting and sad that someone who claims to be Jewish has such a distorted idea of what fascism is.

    8. Lisa says:

      Despicable creeps.

    9. Mark says:

      Aren’t there NYPD surveillance cameras pretty close to the statue? I live close by and believe I’ve seen some.

    10. JG says:

      So sick of this childish “activism”. Find a better way to make your case rather than destroy what’s not yours. Enough.

    11. Jbb says:

      Wow, are all these comments from actual residents of the Upper West Side or from Richard Spencer followers? You know, the UWS that contributed more to Bernie Sander’s campaign than any other zip code? Just goes to show you to level of NIMBY limousine liberalism that exists in this community.

      Personally, as an UWS parent, I have no problem explaining to my young kids why activists might have a problem with Roosevelt and his mixed legacy. Hell, my 6 year old brought home one of those nice books about Thanksgiving that Pilgrims and Indigenous all holding hand and singing kumbahya and felt it was necessary to explain to her that the way most children’s books illustrate the way colonist treated the indigenous population is pure fiction and to no buy into that oppression narrative (not using quite these words obv)

      What is a criminal act to some is an act of justice to others. Something being illegal or legal does not make it right or wrong. At some point in history raping your wife and slavery were legal. Activists have been trying to raise the issue of white supremacy for centuries. Sometimes you have to go big to call attention to the bigger problems.

      • Jason says:

        Desecrating a public monument should never be legal. Protest should always be legal, distention should always be legal, free speech should always be legal, but vandalism should not be, in any form.

      • Frank says:

        Maybe explain to your kids that these people lived in less enlightened times – they were considered normal and moral and even exceptional in their time. Columbus, Roosevelt, etc. But that like all people they were flawed and a product of their time. There’s a good chance people 200 years from now will look at us and what we consider moral and normal as reprehensible. But we aren’t celebrating that – we are celebrating their contribution to what has gotten us here today and for a hopefully better and more enlightened tomorrow.

        We don’t celebrate Columbus for his treachery, which was considered normal in his time. We celebrate him for his bravery in discovery and opening the new world which we all live in. Simplifying things and boiling down to a single issue is infantile and not helpful.

        Things are complex. Some settlers were awful to natives and some natives were awful to some settlers. Some worked well together as well. People are generally awful to each across every race, country and creed whenever they have the opportunity to be since the beginning of time. Looking back we can easily characterize every group of people as awful at some point or another and also having been treated awfully at some point or another.

        We need to come to grips that this was a country founded by Europeans and there will be a Euro-centric slant to our early history. And many of these people did things that we find awful today. But they founded this and were the foundation of what we have today and some blood was shed along the way. And we should acknowledge that too. We can see how this country has grown and changed as we begin to see other, non-Euro centric figures become celebrated. And even they were flawed as everyone is in their time.

      • Jakw says:

        Wrong on many counts. Hillary decisively beat Bernie in UWS and yes if you do something illegal it is by definition criminal. Enough doublespeak.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        So those of us who are CRITICIZING this despicable, illegal act of vandalism are, according to you, followers of the NAZI Richard Spencer, but those people who actually COMMITTED this crime are ACTIVISTS because ” Something being illegal or legal does not make it right or wrong”. That is an incredible point of view, and will directly contribute to Trump being re-elected.

        • Frank says:

          This is the apparent logic we’re supposed to follow now. The Democratic party was the part of logic and reason in my life and why I voted with them. But more and more it’s a party of silly black and white comparisons and moral supremacists. The party has let the radical wing take control of it and it has left me. I feel as if I don’t have a party any longer.

    12. eric says:

      These losers have WAY too much time on their hand. All these statues were probably erected from liberal policy makers at some point. History is history. I have never seen a more angry group of hippy losers in my life. Liberals may be the most aggravating group of humans out there.

    13. JM says:

      Remove the statue, and do it with a ‘big speech’ and all. Have the statue and it’s base completely cleaned up and restored to the day it was first installed in 1940. Then have a re-dedication ceremony as part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Televised nationally and worldwide.

      Make it completely backfire on the cowards who did this and the so called ‘activists’ who probably incited the entire thing. And restore the original statue ‘as is’ Do not remove a single thing or alter it in any way.

    14. Snarky says:

      I’d like some input from the residents on 81st street.

      • 81st St. Resident says:

        I live on 81st St and think this is heinous. I’ve been a staunch democrat my entire life but in the last 3-4 years have become disenchanted enough with the espousal of identity politics and PC/SJW activism that I may just become the first black republican on 81st street.

      • This Is Us -- the NIMBY's says:

        Re “I’d like some input from the residents on 81st street.”

        Sorry. We’re too busy worrying about the daily influx of 40 million visitors and six thousand yellow school buses trampling our sacred patch of NIMBY the day the A.M.N.H’s new building opens.


    15. Ben David says:

      We live in a city where public urination is encouraged by the city council … and where citizens will soon have the right to refuse a police search. So, vandalism is perfectly fine in Bill de Blasio’s New New York.

      • Cat says:

        Public urination is encouraged?

        • UWSHebrew says:

          when acts like public urination are de-criminalized, to some people, that shows encouragement. kind of how BLM was legitimized when their leader was invited to the White House multiple times.

    16. steve says:

      These people are more ignorant than a sack of potatoes. I bet if they were questioned, these nincompoops couldn’t answer the most basic questions about T. Roosevelt or U.S. history in general

    17. nycityny says:

      I’m more concerned with what the current president wants to do with my Obamacare plan than with a statue of a former president. Oh, and since he is a former president perhaps he deserves to have a statue.

    18. Richard says:

      Teddy Roosevelt was so far ahead of his time.As President, He invited Booker T. Washington to The White House for dinner. It was the first time an African American was given such an honor and sadly when the press found out about it T.R. was roundly criticized across the country. When the people desecrating these statues and memorials are done, the only thing we’ll have left are empty pedestals.

    19. “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

      – 1984

    20. UWS Craig says:

      This is what TR had to say about Indian Americans:
      “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are the dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every 10 are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth.”
      Is this really the sort of person we wish to honor in front of one of our cherished museums?
      Fortunately Mayor De Blasio and his truth commission will soon take care of this.

    21. RobRoy says:

      Vandals who target that statue because they think it represents “white patrician supremacy” know nothing about Teddy Roosevelt, who he was, what he did and his historical significance. Instead of throwing paint cans they should be reading a history book.

      Shame on them.

      • Sammie@lynn says:

        Possibly no one would even be inclined to question the presence of the TR statue if it wasn’t for the two slaves on either side of him.