Theodore Roosevelt statue removed from Museum of Natural History

Roosevelt went on a rough ride.

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 hauled away Wednesday, photos show.

The bronze monument depicting the nation’s 26th president on a horse flanked by an African man and a Native American man — which has sparked protests for glorifying colonialism and racism — was yanked out with a crane just after midnight, leaving behind only its concrete pedestal.

A crane removed the statue of President Theodore Roosevelt from the American Museum of Natural History on Jan. 19, 2022.
REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs
The statue had been at the museum for over 80 years.
The statue had been in front of the museum for over 80 years.
Robert Miller
The crane lowering the statue down after it was removed.
The statue had been embroiled in controversy and recent protests.
REUTERS

The controversial effigy will now be sent to a library in North Dakota on long-term loan, officials have said.

The $2 million removal, carried out 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 up the 10-foot-tall statue with an orange tarp ahead of its shipment to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota.

One of the ex-president’s descendants, Theodore Roosevelt V, cheered the removal plan last year, saying it’s “fitting that the statue is being relocated to a place where its composition can be re-contextualized to facilitate difficult, complex and inclusive discussions.”

Workers putting up a scaffolding around the Roosevelt statue before it was removed.
Workers put up a scaffolding around the Roosevelt statue before it was removed.
Robert Miller
The statue is being loaned to a library in North Dakota.
The statue is being sent on a long-term loan to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota.
Robert Miller
A wall and tarp surround where that statue used to be located outside of the museum.
A wall and tarp surround where that statue was located outside of the museum.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

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.