Over 20 proposals submitted to acquire Confederate monuments, statue send-off unlikely in 2020

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — A documented list of interested people and parties wanting to get their hands on the city’s Confederate monuments provides a glimpse of where the civil war iconography may end up.

A ‘Monument Disposition Matrix,’ as it is titled in a PDF document shared with 8News, compiles 22 statue acquisition proposals sent to city council staff–indicating which statues and pedestals are being sought, and why.

City Council Chief of Staff Lawrence Anderson presented the preliminary findings to city council members in an organizational and development review committee meeting earlier this month.

The list of proposals follows the mandated 30-day minimum period the city had to offer these monuments for acquisition, according to time stipulations outlined by the General Assembly in 2020.

Interested parties range from Virginia Commonwealth University alumni who lived near the monuments, to museums and battlefields, as well as trusts and artists. Some offer to pay for statues, other express their inability to do so.

A number of organizations tied to historical societies, southern battlefields and private citizens seek to display the monuments on land where tourists and interested people can learn about the Confederacy.

One private citizen pitched displaying statues on their Hanover County property, and allow people to view them ‘by appointment,’ another proposal seeks to receive the cannons that were removed along Monument Avenue to use in war reenactments.

An excerpt from a proposal to acquire cannons that lined Monument Avenue.

Two proposals submitted to the city were previously reported by 8News, including a bid from a Confederate heritage organization, and Connecticut-based artists who pitched to cut a statue into pieces.

Proposals have been sent from states outside the southeast region of the U.S.

Submitted interest to acquire monuments has been sent from Indiana, and as far west as Los Angeles.

Based on the city council staff report, ‘LAXArt Museum’ asked to acquire the Stonewall Jackson and Matthew Fontaine Maury statues for a two-year museum display, while a private entity from Peru, Indiana inquired to take all monuments after seeing statue removal of television.

Other proposals call for statues like J.E.B Stuart and Williams Carter Wickham to be sent to property tied to the men’s past–Whickham in Hanover County and Stuart in Russell County.

The Valentine Museum in Richmond has propositioned to acquire the statue of Jefferson Davis, the sole president of the Confederate States of America.

A portion of the Valentine Museum’s submission to acquire the Jefferson Davis statue.

A city official involved in the process, says council staff is in talks with city administration and the city’s legal arm to achieve key goals: first, to ensure the acquisition consideration process falls in-line with what the General Assembly detailed in their 2020 bill granting localities the ability to remove Confederate monuments.

Secondly, to ensure acquisition is logistically feasible–for instance, if city council and city administration agree to help with transportation of monuments.

A lengthy process, as Anderson detailed, it is unlikely that council staff will present their final recommendations to city council in calendar year 2020 to consider acquisition proposals.

The full PDF of acquisition proposals can be seen here.

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