What does Joe Biden's Oval Office makeover reveal about the new US president?

The Oval Office at the White House. Credit: AP

US President Joe Biden has wasted no time in banishing signs of his predecessor from the Oval Office.

New presidents usually redecorate the historic room to reflect their own tastes as well as the type of leader they want to be - or at least want to be seen as being.

Some of the changes are purely cosmetic, such as different rugs (a dark blue one replaces Donald Trump's choice), curtains and wallpaper. But the makeover of the US president's formal working space in the West Wing of the White House is far more than just aesthetic - Mr Biden's touches are a signal to world of the man he is - and serve to distance him further from Mr Trump.

The newly decorated Oval Office. Credit: AP

The Winston Churchill bust brought back in by Mr Trump after it was removed by Barack Obama (a move which prompted the then foreign secretary Boris Johnson to accuse the 44th president of an "ancestral dislike of the British Empire"), has once again been put back in storage.

Instead, Mr Biden has chosen busts of iconic civil rights leaders, founding fathers and former presidents.

Alongside these leading figures from history that have shaped America, Mr Biden - who as former vice president to Mr Obama knows this room well - has added personal touches, including a table adorned with family photos.

  • The family photos

Portraits of Mr Biden's family adorn a table, including a photo of his late son Beau Biden who died of a brain tumour in 2015.

Nested among the portraits is a bust of Latin American civil and labour rights leader Cesar Chavez.

Family portraits in President Biden's freshly madeover Oval Office. Credit: AP

The busts

Mr Biden has chosen to exhibit powerful figures in the civil rights movement in his Oval Office, with busts of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks prominently displayed. There are also sculptures of activists Robert Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as one of the Chiricahua Apache Tribe.

A bust of civil rights leader Martin Luther King. Credit: AP
A bust of Rosa Parks in Biden's Oval Office. Credit: AP

The Moon

A rock from the Moon sits on a shelf in the office. It is not clear how Joe Biden came across this bit of the Moon, but - as the first nation to reach the Moon - this lump of rock is a symbol of America's power, ambition and endeavours.

A rock from the moon sits on the centre shelf. Credit: AP

The desk 

One item that has lived on is the Resolute Desk - one of six available for US presidents to choose from. The desk - built from oak used in the British Arctic exploration ship HMS Resolute - appears to transcend personal taste and political divides and was the choice of both Mr Trump and Mr Obama.

Joe Biden signed a raft of executive orders. Credit: AP

The portraits

Mr Biden has notably removed a portrait of Andrew Jackson - censured and fellow populist 19th-century president - that once hung in his predecessor's Oval Office.

A portrait of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt over the mantlepiece. Credit: AP

It has been replaced with Benjamin Franklin, that, according to the Washington Post, is intended to signal the 46th President's interest in science (something that Mr Trump was not well know for).

There now also hangs a portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and paintings of founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton hanging side by side; the pair had very different ideologies and frequently disagreed, but still forged a partnership.