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Controversial Theodore Roosevelt statue outside of New York museum finds a home in North Dakota

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The image will be on a long-term loan, the newly announced Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora opened in 2026, as of Friday.

In June, the City of New York Public Commission joined the Council It was decided to remove and temporarily replace the statue after years of debate. The removal of the statue is subject to final approval by the Commission and is expected to take several months to begin the fall, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) President Ellen V. Futter said in a statement.
Portrait of a 26-President tied to a Native American on one side and an African American on the other – conveying a “racial hierarchy which museum and members of the public have long found disturbing” wrote the Museum in the initial petition for removal in June 2020.

Members of the Roosevelt family are helping the decision to move the statue to the North Dakota Presidential library, and the statement said: “The committee will appoint an advisory board composed of representatives from the Blackwater and Tribal Indigenous Communities, historians, scholars and artists to guide the recontextualization of the image.”

“The equestrian statue is problematic in its hierarchical portrayal of its subjects, and should be removed from the official position of the State of New York for Theodore Roosevelt,” Theodore Roosevelt V, the late president’s progeny, said. “Rather than burying a laborious work of art, we must learn from it.”

He continues: “It is fitting that the statue be placed in a place where its interwoven composition can be used to make difficult discussions, complex and inclusive debates more relaxed.”

The statue, which was first discovered at the museum in 1940, was initiated as part of a larger public monument to Roosevelt, formerly the governor of New York, according to a statement by AMNH.

“At the same time, the statue itself shares the racial hierarchy that the museum and members of the public have long found disturbing,” reads a statement from the museum.

“Museums are supposed to be hard to do,” Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Foundation CEO Edward F. O’Keefe said in a statement. “I have been told that those who do not learn history will be doomed to repeat”, and our job is to examine history carefully to understand the present and to better understand the future.

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