Red paint was splashed on the statue of Theodore Roosevelt on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History early Thursday, according to cops.
Someone was seen around the statue before it was vandalized on Central Park West between 3 and 7 a.m., law enforcement sources said.
Police are checking for surveillance video of the incident and are looking for at least one person who was seen near the statue.
Images on social media show the base of the 10-foot-tall statue covered in red paint, which also streaks on the sides. The equestrian sculpture itself does not appear to be hit.
The bronze statue by James Earle Fraser, which was erected in 1939, depicts the former president on horseback flanked by an indigenous African and an American Indian.
The statue has become a target of the left because they consider it racist. In august of this year, a huge protest took place at the statue calling for its removal:
Social justice warriors are never satisfied. If you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. After demanding that southern states take down statues of Confederate figures, the activist Left is now targeting an iconic American president featured on Mount Rushmore.
Last October, Dailywire reported that the “Social Justice Warriors” gathered at the Teddy Roosevelt statue:
Marching around the museum in a fit of self-righteous rage, protesters carried signs that read “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” “DECOLONIZE THIS MUSEUM,” and “ABOLISH WHITE SUPREMACY.”
— Ash J (@AshAgony) October 11, 2016
On October 11th of last year, more than 200 SJW zealots held a protest inside the American Museum of Natural History in New York City to take down the supposedly “racist” statue of former President Theodore Roosevelt. The protest’s organizers, NYC Stands with Standing Rock and Decolonize This Place, also called for Columbus Day to be renamed Indigenous People’s Day.
WHERE DOES THIS END? DESTROYING OUR HISTORY HAS BECOME THE NATIONAL PASTIME OF THE LEFT:
The vandalism comes amid a national debate over statues dedicated to controversial historical figures triggered by the violence sparked by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August over the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
President Trump, who refused to condemn the Charlottesville participants, has slammed people who want to tear down statues of Christopher Columbus, saying “it has to be stopped” because they are destroying the country’s “heritage.”
A neighborhood resident called the vandalism “horrible.”
“There is no cause for doing things like this in this society where everybody is free to express their opinion, but not in this way,” said Hans Gesell, 82, a structural engineer who rides past the statue every day.
Gesell is not a fan of the Rough Rider.
“I think he was an egotistical person who thought his opinion mattered more than anyone else’s. That’s not the way to go,” he told The Post.
But he denounced the defacing, saying “it is the opposite of the way you express yourself. The way to express yourself is you vote. You want to express your opinion — you vote.
“It is not a true expression of democracy and you can see it upsets people, and we should find better ways of expressing ourselves,” he added.
A pair of Columbus statues in the Big Apple were recently vandalized, including one in Central Park, where a vandal smeared red paint on its hands and scrawled “Hate will not be tolerated” on its pedestal.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed a commission to review monuments dedicated to controversial historical figures like Columbus.
Activists last year called for the museum to take down the “racist” statue, calling it a “stark embodiment” of white supremacy that Roosevelt “espoused and promoted.”
Earlier this month, protesters rallied outside the museum to call for the city to remove the statue and to rename Columbus Day “Indigenous People’s Day,” the West Side Rag reported.
“Flanked by figures that appear to be Native and African stereotypes in a position of subservience, the statue is a stark embodiment of the white patrician supremacy that Roosevelt himself espoused and promoted and is an affront to all who enter the museum,” the group, called “Decolonize This Place,” wrote to the museum and the city.
The museum recently agreed that “the statue needs to be addressed,” the Upper West Side news outlet reported.
“Several factors will figure into determining the exact approach,” the museum said. “The Museum is conducting its own research and development process, but the decision on how to address the statue is not solely in the Museum’s control.
“The statue sits on New York City park land and as such is owned and managed by the City. This summer, the City created a commission to review statues and monuments on public land, and we expect the Roosevelt statue to be considered in that process.”
A 14-year museum worker said she was surprised to see the vandalism near her “beloved museum.”
“I think that statue causes a lot of trouble. It belongs to the city, not the museum. Nobody wants it there,” said the worker, who declined to give her name.
“When you notice who is by his side … it’s a racist statue,” she added. “This is New York City. We are culturally diverse. The museum wants Teddy there but not what the statute represents. That statue is a concern for the museum. It presents values we do not support.”
Roosevelt — the first president to invite and dine with an African-American, Booker T. Washington, in the White House — espoused a gradual approach to improving the country’s stark racial inequality.
He referred to white Americans as “the forward race,” whose responsibility it was to lift up the status of minorities by training “the backward race[s] in industrial efficiency, political capacity and domestic morality.”