Memphis Greenspace asks Gov. Haslam for help relocating Confederate statues

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Greenspace sent a letter to Gov. Bill Haslam outlining what it plans to do with the recently removed Confederate monuments, and the letter asks for the governor's help.

This letter is dated May 24, which is the same date the Sons of Confederate Veterans said they'd challenge the latest court ruling.

The seven-page letter from Van Turner--president of Memphis Greenspace-- said he wants the governor's help in relocating the statues.

The letter includes a draft request for proposals for entities interested in taking ownership of the statues, and it asks for the governor to pick people to help look at the proposals once responses are received.

The draft gives specifics about the two largest statues--the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue is 12-feet tall, weighing 10,500 pounds and the Jefferson Davis statue is 8-feet tall though its weight is unknown.

Both are currently crated and stored.

Memphis Greenspace said the new location must allow public access and preservation of the statues and be outside of Shelby County.

The new owner will have to pay all costs associated with statue relocation, including removal of the remaining pedestals.

The statues must remain in the new location for 25 years before they are relocated, and they couldn't be moved to Shelby County, whether on public or private property.

"We are very interested in transferring the statues to a memorial park, to a museum, someone that's interested in telling the story of the Civil War," Turner said last week.

Last Wednesday, a Nashville chancery court judge ruled the city's sale of the parks to a nonprofit, and the subsequent removal of the statues, was legal.

Thursday, the Sons of Confederate Veterans said they will formally appeal that ruling.

Memphis Greenspace has to protect the monuments until the case is resolved.

The case will head to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, and the city has previously said it expects this could go to the state Supreme Court.

Kendall Downing reached out to the governor's office, and a spokesperson said he did receive the letter and is reviewing it.

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