A spokesperson for the museum told CNN in a written statement Thursday that the process of removing the statue was “conducted with historic preservation specialists and approved by multiple New York City agencies.” It will include a restoration of the square in front of the museum.
The removal began on Tuesday and the sculpture was gone by Thursday, after a year-and-a-half process.
“The statue itself communicates a racial hierarchy that the Museum and members of the public have long found disturbing,” the museum wrote in its June application. This is reflected in the composition of the statue: the white man, Roosevelt, is placed in the center on horseback while the other two men are behind him, walking.
In this photo from Dec. 2, 2021, construction workers begin to remove the statue of Theodore Roosevelt. Credit: Yuki Iwamura/AFP/Getty Images
The library, which is expected to open in 2026, said in a statement that it has entered into a long-term loan agreement with New York City.
Since 1940, the sculpture has stood in front of the New York Museum and was originally commissioned to celebrate Roosevelt.
“The museum is proud to continue to be the site of New York State’s official memorial to Theodore Roosevelt,” he added in a written statement.