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Wilder: Slavery museum will stay page 2
Wilder says museum will be built and in Fredericksburg

Date published: 3/13/2009


Over the past several weeks, news outlets have reported that various Richmond officials are interested in seeing the slavery museum built there. Those reports followed a Feb. 21 article in The Free Lance-Star stating that the museum's executive director was apparently gone, the museum was behind in its tax payments and city officials were wondering about its fate.

City Treasurer G.M. Haney has said he will defer to the City Council in working to collect the outstanding taxes. If the taxes remain unpaid for two years, however, he will take steps to sell the land to recover them.

Tomzak said the city wasn't moving forward on the tax issue for now and wasn't sure what it might do in the future.

"Until we have more contact with the museum, it's really difficult to comment on this," he said.

City Councilman Hashmel Turner said he never got a response from Wilder to his request for information but was pleased by reports that the former governor still plans to build in Fredericksburg.

"I'm definitely glad because the U.S. National Slavery Museum is part of the equation for our Celebrate Virginia build-out," Turner said. "A lot of things have been set in motion with the thought the U.S. National Slavery Museum would be up and running."

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972
Email: pgould@freelancestar.com

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In 2001, former Richmond Mayor L. Douglas Wilder announced plans to build the museum in Fredericksburg on 38 acres bordered by Interstate 95 and the Rappahannock River. The Silver Cos. donated the land, which sits within its Celebrate Virginia project.

Dates to open the museum--or at least part of it--have continually been pushed back because of a lack of funds. The latest cost estimate for the project was $200 million.