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January 09, 2015

Wilder's Slavery Museum Sues Over Stalled Site Sale

Former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder's U.S. National Slavery Museum has filed a legal complaint to force a sports company to complete its stalled purchase of the Fredericksburg, Va., site that was to have been the long-planned institution's home, reports The Free-Lance Star. The museum is counting on the sale to clear a property-tax debt of more than $600,000 to the city of Fredericksburg and proceed with an effort to build the museum in Richmond, the state capitol.

The suit, filed late last month, is the latest twist in the tortured history of the project, which has been in the works since the 1990s but foundered on financial problems. Amateur-baseball company Diamond Nation agreed in October 2013 to buy the 38-acre parcel donated to the museum 11 years earlier, in a deal that was predicated on the firm purchasing the minor-league Hagerstown Suns and moving them to Fredericksburg, but the Suns backed out last year.

If the sale goes through, the museum gets $500,000 and Diamond Nation would cover its debt to the city. If it does not, the property is scheduled to go to tax auction on February 20.