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McDonnell’s Budget Includes Funding for a Slavery Museum - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

McDonnell’s Budget Includes Funding for a Slavery Museum

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Governor Bob McDonnell will set aside $11 million in the state budget to help fund a slavery and freedom heritage site in downtown Richmond.

The plan includes funding for a long-discussed national slavery museum. The idea for a slavery heritage site and museum has been a big topic of discussion in Richmond since last month. Now, with financial support coming from the state, it could be closer to reality.

Before the Civil War, Richmond was home to one of the largest slave markets in the south. Part of the goal of this project is to mark Virginia's role in that painful history.

The $11 million proposal includes $5 million for the museum, which will transform a historically significant area, now dominated by parking lots, into what McDonnell hopes will serve as a somber reminder.

“The importance of memorializing this spot where tremendous horror took place so that people from around the country and around the world will come here and not forget the lessons of history,” McDonnell said.

Richmond must commit at least $5 million of its own to receive state funding for the heritage site. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a slavery museum would cost about $30 million to build.

Quite a bit of private funding will be required to get to that level, but McDonnell is optimistic state money will help jump-start a project that has been on the back burner for years.

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