After decades of calls for its removal, the statue of Theodore Roosevelt that has been installed in front of the American Museum of Natural History for over 80 years is now gone, dismantled piece by piece throughout the week. Roosevelt's head and torso were removed on Tuesday night, and, on Wednesday evening, workers came for the rest.

By 12:55 a.m. Thursday, it was history.

The museum told WNYC/Gothamist, "The process, conducted with historic preservation specialists and approved by multiple New York City agencies, will include restoration of the plaza in front of the Museum, which will continue through the spring." The removal and restoration work is estimated to cost around $2 million.

Roosevelt wasn't the only figure featured; The Equestrian Statue, as it was called, portrayed African and Native American figures appearing "to hold subservient positions" to Roosevelt. Becoming a symbol for colonialism and racism, protests around it began as far back as the 1970s, and when calls were reignited in 2017, as the country was reckoning with its racist monuments, then-Mayor Bill de Blasio formed an advisory committee to review the city's statues.

The Roosevelt statue was defaced with red paint in 2017.

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The Roosevelt statue was defaced with red paint in 2017.
Scott Heins/Gothamist

In place of the towering bronze statue "will be a plaque marking the Museum as the continuing home of the New York State Theodore Roosevelt Memorial," according to the museum. In a statement, they noted they are "proud to continue as the official memorial" the former Governor of New York and President of the United States, who was also an accomplished naturalist.

The museum is also home to another Roosevelt statue that sits inside the building on a bench, which will remain.

The part of the statue, with Theodore's legs on the horse, with the Native American and African man on either side, is removed with a crane from the front of the American Museum of Natural History

Workers remove the controversial statue of Theodore Roosevelt from the front steps of the American Museum of Natural History, January 20, 2022

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Workers remove the controversial statue of Theodore Roosevelt from the front steps of the American Museum of Natural History, January 20, 2022
CS Muncy / Gothamist

The process determining the future of the statue has been a long one, with the decision to remove The Equestrian Statue not coming until June 2020. Since the statue was on city land, it needed to go through public hearings, but eventually, the Public Design Commission approved its relocation.

Last November its fate was announced: the statue will be moved to North Dakota, where it will be on long-term loan from the city to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library, opening in 2026.

The statue will remain in storage until then.

Additional reporting by Emily Lang.