The American Museum of Natural History has covered up a shameful monument to the past.
A troubling statue of Theodore Roosevelt that has stood on the front steps of the Manhattan museum for more than 80 years is now blocked from view, photos taken by The Post show Monday.
The bronze effigy to the nation’s 26th president, criticized for glorifying colonialism and racism, is being sent to North Dakota on a long-term loan to the upcoming Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library.
Just two weeks after the move was announced, the statue is already completely hidden from view, covered by scaffolding and a tarp, The Post’s pics show.
The removal, being carried out by the museum with help from the city, is expected to take “several months” to complete, officials said when announcing the deal.
The TR Library, set to open in Medora in 2026, conceded that the statue “is problematic in its composition,” with Roosevelt on horseback, flanked by an African man and a Native American man.
Its prominence at the front of the tourist destination also “denies passersby consent and context,” the library said late last month as it announced its deal with the museum and city.
The library will initially put it in storage as it considers how to best use it to teach about troubling aspects of US history, with black and Indigenous community leaders invited to help an advisory panel.
“Museums are supposed to do hard things,” the library foundation’s chief executive, Edward F. O’Keefe, said in a statement last month.
“It is said that ‘those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,’ and our job is to forthrightly examine history to understand the present and make a better future.”
Opposition to the statue mounted in recent years, especially after the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests sparked by George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis cop in May 2020.
In June 2020, officials at the museum — which is privately run but sits on public land — proposed removing the statue amid a nationwide movement to remove public works honoring Confederate leaders.
The New York City Public Design Commission voted unanimously that month to relocate it.
One of the ex-president’s descendants, Theodore Roosevelt V, supported removing the statue, which he conceded is “problematic in its hierarchical depiction of its subjects.”
“Rather than burying a troubling work of art, we ought to learn from it.
“It is fitting that the statue is being relocated to a place where its composition can be recontextualized to facilitate difficult, complex, and inclusive discussions,” he said of the North Dakota library’s plans.