Group Warns City to Remove Teddy Roosevelt Statue as Police Seek Vandal

The statue after it was vandalized in 2017. Photo by Carol Tannenhauser.

The statue of President Theodore Roosevelt on the steps of the Museum of Natural History has been provoking debate and protest for years. Now it’s one of the monuments that activists say has to go because it reinforces racist beliefs. A group called Decolonize This Place said on Twitter that the statue is a “white supremacist monument” and it is time to “Tear This Down”, with a warning: “otherwise see elsewhere.” In other parts of the country, and abroad, controversial statues have come down by official decree or by force.

The images of the statue with red paint above, from Decolonize and our archives, were from 2017. But apparently someone else has vandalized the statue since, because police sent out an alert this week that they’re looking for someone for vandalizing the statue.

“On Friday, June 5, 2020, at approximately 1310 hours, in front of 200 Central Park West (Museum of Natural History), the unidentified male was captured on video surveillance throwing paint on the Teddy Roosevelt statue in front of the location,” the alert said. The person is wanted for criminal mischief. If charged as a Class 3 felony, that could result in as much as four years of prison time.

Asked whether the museum would support authorities pressing charges, a museum spokesperson did not respond. The spokesperson also did not respond to a question about Decolonize This Place’s tweet.

The statue has been up since 1940, and people have raised alarms about it for years. In 1971, Native American activists covered it in red paint. Roosevelt is depicted on a horse flanked by Native American and Black men on foot — a racial pyramid that presents stereotyped depictions of the president’s gun carriers. The museum itself created an exhibit last year asking visitors their reaction to the statue, and has said that the statue “needs to be addressed” — though it’s owned by the city so is not entirely up to the museum.

The mayor’s commission on monuments, created in 2017 to review statues whose political messages might be offensive, was split about the statue. Its report “included evidence that the sculpture was meant to represent Roosevelt’s belief in the unity of the races,” but also that “Roosevelt’s stature on his noble steed visibly expresses dominance and superiority over the Native American and African figures.”

Their opinion was mixed, and the statue stayed in place.

Further complicating things is Roosevelt himself — whose father helped establish the museum. Roosevelt was a progressive reformer in many respects, but he had views that are clearly racist — and not just because of the change in social perspectives over time. Historians point to evidence that he believed in the racial superiority of the white man, for instance. The museum itself hosted eugenics conferences in the 1920s.

HISTORY, NEWS | 117 comments | permalink
    1. Rob G. says:

      Rethinking and re-explaining history is one thing. Erasing history completely is another. It puts us in danger of repeating past mistakes. But city and state leadership seems to enjoy getting stomped on by anarchists, so I expect this statue, as well as the one in Columbus Circle, will soon disappear.

      • Charlie says:

        I don’t understand how removing a statue of someone is erasing history. Can we only learn history from statues and not umm… history books?

        • Bob Lamm says:

          Thanks, Charlie. Completely agree.

        • John says:

          They really do not teach history anymore. Ask young folks about American history. 1 out of 5 may get an answer correct if that.

          • JL says:

            It would also be great if the president who put his hand on the Bible and swore to defend The Constitution, actual opened the book or read the US Constitution.

        • Bella says:

          Seems there are lots of statues built to honor the victors and oppressors, yet almost non-existent are the statues, history books or the education system to honor their victims and the oppressed. We’ve already erased history, that’s the problem. As a result, history is already repeating itself. Unless we as a society dare to be better, and choose to do something different, we will have another hundred generations of disparity, while the beneficiaries of systemic racism cry out ‘what’s the big deal, get over it’. Why is it so easy to stand up for the inanimate representations off white men in power, who used their power to build this country while ALSO actively suppressing and oppressing BIPOC they presided over, instead of the living, breathing, tax paying citizens who are still trying to loosen the systemic and ideological racism these men installed? The fight and struggle of BIPOC has been denigrated into a false history of laziness and ineptitude. If you really cared about American and NY history, you would be fighting for justice, better education, and parity in all arenas, not for statues representing a psychotically biased version of American History.

        • Louisa Cabot says:

          History is no longer taught!
          T.R. Is an important figure in U.S. history.
          Read a history book.

        • Maleko says:

          History books? Most people don’t even want to read. When I send articles to friends, if it’s too long they won’t even read it. Also, schools don’t teach pertinent history any more. (Tulsa massecre)

        • Arlene Haefg says:

          Thank you, yes, stop looting history. Write more books instead.

        • David Riley says:

          The same woke mob going after the statues now are also going after books. Libraries are being purged (the term is “decolonised”). Books are not safe.

          History will be erased and rewritten from a Marxist perspective. Opposing views will not be tolerated.

        • Abe says:

          Burn the books too.

      • Sam says:

        Seems like the easiest place to replace a statue would be in front of a museum, where you could IDK put a photo of the old statue with some educational material about why the statue was replaced.

        • JL says:

          As a modern world class city (is it still?), NYC would not be harmed by a competition by blind submission of a new piece of art. There was so much racist blow back when American born student Maya Lin won the commission for the Vietnam VM in DC. That Monument has gone on to inspire the standard world wide for commemorating the dead including 9/11 in WTC.

          The entrance of MoNH and C. Circle are prominent spaces in the UWS. It’s a great opportunity to keep the neighborhood relevant.

          Nothing was meant to last forever, even outdoor art. It’s healthy to clean house once in a while. This is how cultures evolve.

        • joseph peterson says:

          That’s it. Do not erase history…that sets you up to repeat it!

      • Jake says:

        Taking down a statue is not erasing history. This statue glories white supremacy. A young black child excited to see dinosaurs shouldn’t have to run a racist gauntlet to do it.

      • Bob says:

        Couldn’t agree more with Rob G.. This “Cancel Culture” has got to stop. Never thought I’d agree with Trump, but destroying our history is not the answer. Judge these men of history by their accomplishments, not by their faults.
        A better answer is to build new monuments to those you admire today. Not destruction. Enough!

    2. dc says:

      Yes, I’m sure it will be taken down, as our elected officials fear losing their “woke” labels.

    3. jsv says:

      TR is an example of a complicated man who possess racist beliefs earlier in life but as president, then later in life came to deeply regret them and strove to embrace people of different races and religions. To take down this statue would be severely ignorant. I fully expect that the statue will be removed because as a general rule, Americans are severely ignorant.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        It’s mob rule. Goodbye America.

      • MGR says:

        Biographies and documentaries about Theodore
        Roosevelt reveal him to be a complicated man whose opinions often changed, and whose actions often seemed to be in conflict with his words. Isn’t this statue a way to teach History? Do we have any historical figure, who is 100% all good? I don’t think so. So do we eliminate all statues, all monuments , and just teach bad guy history. I don’t know the answers . But they are certainly more complicated than just tear it all down.

      • Oy says:

        JSV- Couldn’t write it better. Whoever you are, you are a smart person, a drop of sanity in an ocean of insanity.

    4. Peter says:

      What if we replaced it with a tribute to the Lenape Indians who inhabited Manhattan before Europeans arrived, and used it as an opportunity to teach the public about how the native people lived in much more sustainable ways?

    5. Willette says:

      American History has always been a white male narrative. This country was built on the backs of millions of indigenous people who were murdered and had their land stolen. Only to then have that land cultivated by African slaves who were stolen from the western shores of Africa. Their descendants were beaten, lynched, and torn apart by programs like COINTELPRO and the FBI. This is not taught in school. So now, here we have a monument to a famously racist president who heralded an era of genocide and forced assimilation of native children. You all want to talk about preserving history, but in reality what’s happening is the folks who were famously left out of that history are rising up and saying the stories of America we were told are lies. These statues are monuments to that fallacy, and there is no place in our city for them if we are to move forward and bring forth some type of justice for the atrocities that founded this country. If you feel challenged at all by these actions, then you need to take a long hard look at yourself and investigate what type of racism you have lurking deep inside of you and why. If you really know what these men did and who had to die for them, you would be on the street with a hammer dismantling these white supremacist monuments too.

      • Kai Reynolds says:

        hell yeah, right on

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Your Michael Eric Dyson style rant may impress or intimidate others on here, but not me. I think myself and some men of Italian heritage will take care to make sure no Columbus statues will be taken to “by a hammer” as you stated.

        • Rob says:

          Columbus was Spanish, he falsified being Italian. Look it up

          • David S says:

            It’s kind of a moot point anyway, since there was not an Italian nation in Columbus’ time; the unification of Italy as a nation didn’t occur until the 19th century.

          • David Riley says:

            That sounds like a “Birther” conspiracy theory.

    6. Andy says:

      It’s sad when you people defending a statue. Whether or not the historical context is important… You feel that strongly about a friggin statue to a person who clearly was a white supremacist, or any other statue of a person with a reputation that you wouldn’t want yourself or loved ones? Get some perspective people..

      • John E. says:

        Perspective?? Tell me how tearing down statues is going to help blacks get a step up on the socio-economic ladder. How is it going to get their children a better education in this city? How is it going to prevent police brutality against them? Do you really think tearing down statues is going to solve any of these problems??

        • Jen says:

          Screaming and toppling statues is easier than to actually put an effort into let’s say tutoring disadvantaged kids, or protest the bad school system. It is instant gratification to only yell and scream slogans. It makes you fell you are doing something without doubt much.

    7. Chris says:

      If they remove Roosevelt i will not spend another dime at this Museum. If you go down this road I could say all the art in MOMA offends me and folks like me so get rid of it.

    8. Woody says:

      TR was one of the greatest presidents. It’s a tragedy that statue was defaced.

      I’m very concerned about the future of the UWS – and the country for that matter.

      Maybe rational middle class people should leave – and they’re already fleeing – and these lefties can have the UWS to themselves.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Sad to agree with you Woody. Look what is happening in Seattle. Think that can’t happen here? Think again. Especially with the mayor we are stuck with for the next 18 months.

        • LK says:

          Given the current atmosphere, I would not be surprised if the next mayor is going to be even worse. Folks are trying to outdo each other taking pride in their previous encounters with police. From NY Post, Richards, a lifelong resident of southeast Queens who chairs the council’s public safety committee and is running for Queens borough president, quickly fired back on Twitter.

          “Check your privilege, Mr. Mayor,” wrote Richards (D-Queens).

          He later added: “I was born and raised in Southeast Queens with multiple NYPD encounters. Including being stopped and frisked at 13 years old with guns drawn on me. Name your first NYPD experience @NYCMayor.”

          “Is it time to remove this white man from office? #askingforafriend,” Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D-Brooklyn) tweeted.

          • CJ says:

            Fleeing we will be. Occupy West Side the new normal. Those who’ll be “left” are welcome to it. Anarchy, garbage bins along the curbs, empty boarded-up storefronts, dogs running rampant, crappy sidewalks, graffiti, spray painted statues (if any still standing), cyclodrome Central Park, homeless colonies under dark metal sheds on every block. Yup. It’s all yours.

            • Leon says:

              Totally agree. These radical left wingers are going to win the battle but lose the war. There are a lot of moderate Republicans who are likely to vote for Biden out of dislike for Trump. But if they think this radical element of the Democratic party is going to run the country under a Biden presidency, they might still vote for Trump, as much as it pains them. And that is the worst thing that can happen. I don’t agree with their way of looking at things, but like it or not, that is how they feel, and they are the swing voters in this election.

              The unfortunate death of George Floyd and others has brought about some very helpful conversations and hopefully change that this country really needs. But let’s not go overboard. There is a big difference between getting rid of confederate statues and statues of presidents, who, though faulted, did many really good things for this country.

              If we keep trying to “out-woke” ourselves, we are going to wake up with Trump as president for four more years.

            • Karen L. Bruno says:

              My advice is to leave while you still can and if you have property sell it before it crashes. Maybe when the city returns to Dinken days people will wise up!

            • say-moi says:

              A-h-h-! That’s why they build all those sheds and never took any of them down!! UWS .. A mess as you say!
              Where’re you gonna move to? I went and lived in San Francisco and hated it! Came back to the city 8 years ago!

          • boopsie says:

            What’s funny about that statement is deBlasio originally received much “woke cred” for being married to an African-American woman and having bi-racial kids.

            • Chris says:

              I am a moderate Republican and no I can not vote for Biden as his mental health is declining. Biden’s running mate will be running the show and he is going to pick a left wing nut Job I am sure. Will have to vote for Trump if I want the USA to survive at least another 4 years

      • Native Upper West Sider says:

        Maybe Woody. The UWS was once a progressive bastion. It’s returning to its roots. All those who came in, gentrified, and displaced generations of NYers are free to go. In recent years-the UWS has changed for the worse-H&H bagels was replaced with a verizon store. New Pizza Town is now a marshall’s. If you want to live near a strip mall, go to the suburbs. Perhaps, the city can create a reparations program, provide displaced NYers with housing in our neighborhood so POC could actually afford to live here again. I encourage you all to read the autobiography of Assata Shakur. She was an Upper West Sider, grew up on 84th & Amsterdam.

        • L.A. says:

          The loss of H&H was a real blow. I don’t think the U.W.S. has ever recovered, or ever can. Those hot garlic bagels — and every flavor — were the best!

        • Woody says:

          The UWS was never a “progressive bastion”. It was full of people who hung out with their own kind and called themselves “progressive” but that’s about it.

          And the UWS you are so nostalgic for was grimy and crime-ridden and dangerous and had awful public schools.

          It is rapidly reverting to those days. You and your fellow “progressives” can have it all to yourselves.

          So many people I know are leaving. And there are good bagel places in the suburbs.

          • ray says:

            “good bagel places in the suburbs??”
            I’m afraid your credibility just took a fatal hit, Woody.

    9. Don says:

      Why not just removing the two standing people?

      • ben says:

        Honestly I would suggest this too but it’s just going to get people fired up for “you are further erasing minorities from white history”.

      • Carnival Canticle says:

        How about putting them on horses so they are on an equal standing (or seating) with TR.

    10. Sylvia Gallas says:

      T Roosevelt invited Booker T Washington for dinner, when people didnt think he should. He met with black leaders at the time to discuss issues. What is racist about that?

    11. MB/UWSer says:

      Can individuals erase their own history of troubles? I think not.

      When we know better, we do better. It’s part of the human experience.

      “We” are all a work in progress; continual evolution doing the best we can with the information we have at that time. It is key to put into action what we have come to learn.

      The attempt to erase history is an act of denial. Nothing is perfect; everything is ever changing, evolving and expanding.

      The “upstairs” has full working knowledge – NOTHING is forgotten!

    12. poc-uwsider says:

      BRAVO. It would be progress to remove the statue. The point of statues is NOT to teach history, but to MEMORIALIZE a narrative of history. Narratives CHANGE, get over it. That’s what progress is. We now know Columbus was a rapist slaver, and that Jackson, Wilson, Roosevelt, and many others were white supremacist. How do we know that? From historical RESEARCH! The point of research and scholarship IS to know and teach history. We need statues that memorialize the right things that we believe in every generation. That’s progress.

    13. ben says:

      You know what other sculptures depict people with racist actions and views? 3 out of 4 on Mount Rushmore.

      • yo! says:

        And most of the statues and paintings celebrating nobles and rulers in the Louvre, at the Vatican and any other art museum worldwide if you are counting.

    14. Abdul Sayeed says:

      “We are only temporary. And after us follows nothing of great importance.” – Bertolt Brecht

      Also, in a few hundred years, not one of our statues will remain. All of us, racists and anti-racists, the “woke” and the deplorable Trumpers will have our statues toppled because we are eaters of meat. In a few hundred years, no one will even read our books or view our films or paintings because of this terrible crime against our fellow creatures. Or so it will seem to those in the future…
      Why didn’t we know? Why didn’t we??

      • RealAbdulSayeed says:

        Relax Abdul.
        The animals will end up eating us.
        And we do know and we did know.
        No need for hundreds of years.
        A mere 11 years from now AOC predicts the world as we know it will end.
        See ya on the other side in 2032.

    15. UWSHebrew says:

      So many art lovers, historians and just regular Americans just a few years ago decried ISIS for the destruction of ancient statues in Syria. And now look at us. Look and weep. America has descended into madness. We repelled the British in 1812, after they burned the White House. We were ambushed at Pearl Harbor, destroying most of our Navy along with 3,000 sailors. We were losing WWII until the Battle of Midway. With nuclear warheads pointing at us for decades, we caused the Soviet Union to collapse. And now, with no rational men or women left in charge, attention-seeking misfits are destroying statues, because “they must”. Why are we surrendering? Are these people more powerful than the Nazis, who everyone agrees, were the best trained and best fighting soldiers during WWII? Who are we surrendering to? What is their threat? Complete insanity.

      • UWSdr says:

        Godwin’s Law: “As an online discussion grows, the probability of a comparison involving the Nazis approaches 1”. Nice work! And seriously, defacing and removing a couple of 20th Century bronzes of white men is not akin to the mass destruction of heritage by ISIS. You seem unsympathetic to the outrage of your neighbors at the flaws in our society and imply in your many predictable posts that as long as your interests are protected, everything is fine. A bit of nuance would be welcome.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          Your twisting and obfuscation of the points of my post fools no one. It is part of the Fascist and Communist playbook to begin with removing statues. Next comes removal and banning of books that the mob disagrees with. Then, human beings. Nauseating and infuriating.

          • Jen says:

            Very true. Those aspiring to grab power do that. But it is not just coming from radical left now, do you remember Sarah Palin statement about censoring books in libraries?

          • My 96 Wordsworth says:

            Well…I mostly agree with you…BUT I’m not so sure about any faction’s “playbook”.
            However, I AM sure that this IS mob-rule, led by a bunch of “woke” 20-somethings having a temper-tantrum.
            As bratty-toddlers they finally stopped screaming in the supermarket aisle when they DID get the cereal…cookies…whatever.
            But their older versions do NOT know WHEN to stop screaming in the streets.
            They think change will come overnight and there will suddenly be equality (racial, economic, etc)…just because they demand it.
            Do they vote? NO! So what they WILL get is Trump, now the “law-and-order” candidate, re-elected.

      • L.A. says:

        Well, a lot of these removed monuments are being put in museums. Maybe we could have an American Museum of Removed Monuments.

      • Matt H says:

        It was the Taliban, not ISIS.

        But really anything this username has to say can instantly be discounted as highly suspect. 😮

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    17. Jarvis says:

      Decolonize This Group is a domestic terrorist group affiliated with antifa and founded by foreigners. Look them up, if you don’t believe me. NYC is done if it lets these thugs dictate policy. They also vandalized the subway back in January, causing $100K in damages.

    18. Michael D. Skelly says:

      statues are works of art, to hurt or defaced them is a slap not only to the artist but to the public it self, that statue never was used for any other reason but to honor the founder

    19. Shirley Ariker says:

      It really is offensive. Take away the two semi-naked people–as if that was ever appropriate–and leave Teddy if you want to honor his founding. But what about his wholesale slaughter of wild animals?

      • Steevie says:

        TR did more for natural cinservation than any president.

      • Rob G. says:

        Oh my goodness! Naked people! Cover the children’s eyes! What the hell happened to this neighborhood? How long will this reign of PC radicals and blue-haired prudishness last?

    20. JerryV says:

      Many of the posters here seem divorced from reality and have not recently looked at the statue. It has become a teaching moment by posting information blurbs on the statue that explain the explicit racism as a product of its time. Similarly, the inside diorama of the “sale” of Manhattan by the Leni Lenape to the Dutch has had new information posted on it to describe the racism and paternalism of the Dutch. Should we continue to encourage conversation and learning or should we destroy all history that some people object to?

    21. Joan Lurie says:

      Please let us not lose our sense of history all at once – let’s catch the vandal, keep the statue and get some perspective. Likewise keep the statue of Columbus in Columbus Circle. Both of these are NY icons – and a part of our history and our culture. The craziness of this moment is without precedent… let’s not go overboard while still stressed about Corona!

    22. Doe says:

      I cannot think of one person in history Slavery and racism is as long as history. My people came to this country as indentured servants. History doesn’t just disappear. This liberal has had enough already.

    23. mcvb says:

      I continue to bristle over the idea that the statue of Roosevelt in front of AMNH MUST be removed because it is racist. Once you have “white washed” everything you consider racist what will be left to remind our children that America was and still is iacist. We have a history of racism in this country. Isn’t there something like: those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

    24. Shannon H. says:

      I’ve often wondered if the three figures could be separated and each one displayed on its own plinth. Perhaps the heads of each statue could be placed at the same level. They are each wonderful sculptures. It is their relationship to each other that is offensive.

    25. Jon Knowles says:

      I love the statue, but Teddy was a eugenicist who believed that white Protestant women who used birth control were committing “race suicide”. In my book, that makes him a racist. Put the statue in the museum and replace with a bronze of one of the animal groups in the collection. Have someone in the one percent pay for it.

    26. JerryV says:

      Two points to consider: 1) Each person is complex with both good and bad features. Shall we punish the fundamentally good person (or her/his statue) because of some character defects? 2) Is it appropriate to hold 18th century people to 21st century values?

      If the TR stature is removed, even after appropriate educational context has been added to it (as it already has) where does it all end? Tear down the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial because they were 18th century slaveholders? (and the name of Washington DC now becomes Woke City, DC)? Oops, no more DC – because Columbus and Columbia are out. Hospitals named Columbus and Columbia – we’re coming for you next. Take down the Lincoln Memorial; Lincoln once suggested that Africans were not as intelligent as Caucasians and after emancipation should be sent back to Africa. Statues of Lyndon Johnson because he started out as a racist politician before he passed the most impressive civil rights bills in American history (how are we to balance things?). If we demand total perfection we will have no leaders and no statues. And, of course, we will need to plan one Hell of a book burning.

    27. MLG says:

      This antiquated statue should be removed and placed at a museum! Oh, wait….

    28. Karen L. Bruno says:

      Who the hell voted these people into office? They don’t get to have their way just because they deface things with paint!

    29. L.A. says:

      I remember looking at this statue as a young kid growing up on the U.W.S., probably on some field trip to the museum, and just sort of trying to figure it out. I was probably 8 years old or around that age. I remember looking at it for a while by myself, just standing there. Something seemed “off” and weird to me about it, the subservience of the two figures walking by T.R.’s side. I think I remember thinking, “Why are they walking by his side like that, in that way? Who are these guys, what is their role in this scene?” At that age, I couldn’t fully articulate my thoughts and feelings about the statue, but it seemed strange to me. Probably if I had been a black or Native American kid, though, my reaction would have been a lot clearer, and I would have seen it for what it was. The statue could just have been T.R. on the horse, that would have been enough.

    30. Mike B says:

      TR was one of the greatest New Yorkers and greatest American presidents. Given his contributions to conservation, there is NO ONE more appropriate to be memorialized at the steps of the AMNH.

      Like others have said, if we judge everyone by 21st century values, there will be no one left. I support the core of BLM, but this is a bridge too far

    31. John P says:

      Why not move the statue inside ?

    32. Sally says:

      Why not put a dinosaur on the plinth – after all that is one of the main reasons for going to the museum. It’s also a metaphor for outdated myths we still live by. I have been uncomfortable with that stature since coming to New York in 1969. It would be great to remove it.

    33. Jeffrey E Bigman says:

      If Jews asked for every monument to be removed of everyone that expressed or held anti-Semitic views, there would be almost no monuments and statues left in the US.

    34. Elinore Kaplan says:

      It would seem to me that those at the Museum who would make this decision would, at this particular moment more than ever before, rethink it and decide it’s time to remove the statue — and to make a statement as to what prompts their decision. As long as it stands there, this statue prompts recoil and disgust from those who stop to gaze at it and the statement its presence continues to make. I was at a loss to try to explain it to my 10-year-old grandson when he asked about it. The next time we went in, I made sure to use the side entrance.

    35. Carlos says:

      And what about George Washington? He was a slave owner. We need to change the name of the U.S. capital city, Washington, so it does not honor a slave owner.

    36. 939495 says:

      Theodore Roosevelt was a great American, but a man of his time. Complex, flawed people who sought to do good but were limited by the norms of their time can and should be publicly honored. The statute, however, no longer represents socially acceptable public art and should come down. It would be one thing to have a statue of Roosevelt alone on horseback, but the Native American and African American figures alongside him are just not an image we can defend anymore and I don’t think that we do ourselves any favors by trying to rationalize those kinds of images. They are downright embarrassing.

      • JL says:

        I agree the statue is an embarrassment and a reminder/source of pain for atrocities of genocide and slavery. Even the horse is held higher than the 2 people, yea I know, NYers and their pets.

        The NYT article quoted Dr. Thomas intended the 2017 exhibit of the awful statue to create dissent and debate. The frequent red paint statement is ephemeral like the Christo Gates. It’s not a Lego set, can’t remove 2 because you don’t like the color of the pieces..

        As a museum of science, I think it would be more appropriate for the children to have a bronze T-Rex, or a Stanley Kubrick monolith front and center (a symbol of humanity’s enduring search for meaning and our place in the natural universe).

    37. UWS Lifer says:

      These deranged Maoists should remove themselves from the country

    38. Alex M. says:

      Our roughrider president who rode roughshod over anyone and everyone in his path is suitably portrayed in this ugly equestrian statue with barefoot attendants. Nobody and nothing to be proud of. It’s always been an offending symbol to those who remember that he used the National Parks for big game hunting.

    39. Louisa Cabot says:

      Let’s erase our history!

    40. Maleko says:

      History books? The average American does not want to read. When I send articles to people, many don’t read them because “their too long”.
      Also, schools don’t teach history that is pertinent. (Tulsa massacre).

    41. Bill Lynch says:

      Maybe a metal worker could be hired to separate the two noble, marginalized figures from the sculpture. Then a sculptor could be commissioned to repair the figures and incorporate them into a new work of art that speaks to social justice.

    42. Arlene says:

      Give me a break. Theodore Roosevelt was born when he was born. He couldn’t help that. You cannot rewrite history by tearing down statues. You are looting history, just as wrong as throwing a brick through your neighbor’s window.

    43. Ken Dunn says:

      To judge the past from the present is ignorance. What will historians say about our society in 2120? Will the Koch building be renamed because he achieved his wealth on the backs of the less fortunate? Will the ABT & Lincoln Centre be confirmed for being racist?
      Washington etc. had slaves. They were not racists. Not were the Athenians mysogonist s because women were 2nd class citizens. We can’t apply modern culture to the past. It is ignorant.

    44. Suzie E says:

      I didn’t read all the above, but a lot of it.

      I feel sad. I’ve walked past the Roosevelt statue hundreds of times and always interpreted it to mean that TR was a champion of Native Americans and black Americans, maybe clumsily designed, but well meaning. I only had a high-school-history image of him.

      Since my teens (decades ago) I’ve been committed to the principle that to know is better than not knowing, so I will adjust my thinking.

      However, keep your hands off Abraham Lincoln!

    45. A fine beginning. Now let’s get rolling. Washington DC.? To say nothing of the colleges, high schools, public institutions named after that slaveholder. And Thomas Jefferson? The whole lot of them; let’s not merely tear down their statues and rename everything that honors them. Let’s wipe their memories from the public conscience. What wonderful and inspiring work lies ahead. Oh, yes. Lincoln. A bit slow getting that war going wasn’t he?… Mark my words, dig deep enough and we’ll find a racist.

    46. Paul says:

      All comments here that defend keeping the “statue of Roosevelt” in front of the museum are cluelessly boosting the argument to relocate it. Why? Because anyone with eyes can see it’s not a statue of Roosevelt. It’s a statue of three men.

      • Paul says:

        More accurately, three men and a horse.

      • JL says:

        Such is the nature of privilege (not just race based). The benefits include not having to notice unpleasant things.

        The down side is you don’t know why your village is burning.

    47. Done says:

      You know how much history people learn from statues? None ever! Now one even cares about this stupid statue they go there to see dinosaurs. Not to mention the whole museum is a disgrace anyway that glorifies hunting and cruelty to animals. Animal right needs to be the next movement! It’s long over due. Take down the whole museum. It’s literally NY’s WORST museum that is completely out of touch and offensive!

    48. Stephen T says:

      Where does this end?? in the 1930s the Nazis started tearing down statutes and rewriting history, whats next? book burning? Teddy fought for his country, can the leftist groups say they have? Nope. Stop the hate American movement. Without Teddy we would be a 5th rate power.

    49. My family every time say that I am wasting my time here at web,
      but I know I am getting experience every day by reading such
      good posts.

    50. Old Man says:

      This one actually needs to not only be moved; but altered. Remove the blacks & Natives from the statue. Move Teddy indoors. Compromise.

    51. Tearing down history will not reverse it, or change the fact that it happened…all it will do, is pave the way for it to be repeated. Why have the Nazi death camps not been bulldozed?
      The Jewish people recognize that destroying history, only paves the way for it to bevrepeated. Do you really want to destroy the very platform that you protest against? Keep destroying commissioned artwork, and I promise you, that will, without any doubt, be the outcome.

    52. Susan Romley Moranz says:

      OMG!!! What the hell is wrong with folks? President Teddy Roosevelt not only had Booker T. Washington into the White House he started the National Parks!! Insanity!! Do NOt remove his statue!

    53. Arthur Firkins says:

      It is appaulling a museam of history would pander to a mob. The statue should remain as a example of the attitudes of the time, If history offends then also get rid of all the ancient history figures who owned slaves etc etc or offend someone. This is appaulling.

    54. Tim Schofield says:

      For heavens sake. Might as well remove every statue and monument.