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A statue of Theodore Roosevelt that has stood in front of the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan for more than 80 years was removed Wednesday, photos show.
The bronze monument depicting the nation’s 26th president on horseback flanked by an African man and a Native American, which has sparked protests for glorifying colonialism and racism, was towed away shortly after midnight, leaving only its concrete pedestal.
The controversial effigy will be sent to a library in North Dakota on a long-term loan, officials said.
The $2 million removal, by the museum and the city, comes after the New York City Public Design Commission voted in June to relocate the monument.
Last month, the museum covered the 10-foot-tall statue with an orange tarp before it was shipped to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota.
One of the former president’s descendants, Theodore Roosevelt V, applauded the removal plan last year, saying “it is appropriate that the statue be relocated to a place where its composition can be recontextualized to facilitate difficult, complex and inclusive discussions.”
Still, some critics called the relocation a victory for cancel culture — and a blow to history.
The statue came under fire amid nationwide Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020.