City: No takers for Norfolk’s Confederate monument

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Despite having 30 days to make an offer on Norfolk’s Confederate monument, no historical organizations or other groups have offered to take “Johnny Reb.”

City spokeswoman Lori Crouch said nobody — not a museum, historical society, government or military battlefield — submitted a proposal within the state-mandated 30-day window to take the monument.

Mayor Kenny Alexander said this means it will likely be taken to Elmwood Cemetery, which is what City Council originally voted to do on July 7.

Chief Deputy City Manager Wynter Benda says the relocation from storage to Elmwood Cemetery will begin in September and conclude in November. Money to do the work can come from unspent funds in the capital improvement plan from 2017.

The 80-foot-tall monument previously stood in Downtown Norfolk where Commerical Place meets Main Street. A contractor began taking it down on June 12, two days after a destructive protest at the Portsmouth Confederate monument left one man critically injured. The job cost the city an estimated $175,500.

The city was required by state law to hold a public hearing ahead of the vote to remove, relocate, alter or change their monuments. After the vote, they were required to solicit proposals for museums, historical societies, governments or military battlefields to take ownership of the monument.

Without a proposal, the decision is up to the city where it goes.

Some speakers at Norfolk’s public hearing July 7 suggested they let the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation take Johnny Reb. However, battlefield foundation officials said they liked Norfolk’s existing plan to put it in Elmwood Cemetery.

Leaders in Virginia BeachPortsmouth, NorfolkWilliamsburg, Newport News and Pasquotank County, North Carolina, are some localities in the region that have already voted to relocate their monuments.


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