Friday, January 19, 2018

Greenspace Names Offers For Confederate Statues

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 12:00 PM

The Nathan Bedford Forrest equestrian statue that  once stood in Health Sciences Park
  • The Nathan Bedford Forrest equestrian statue that once stood in Health Sciences Park

Suitors interested in taking the Confederate statues that were removed from two Memphis parks in December have been reaching out to Memphis Greenspace, the non-profit that bought the parks and removed the statues.

In an open letter written to Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday, president of the non-profit, Van Turner said he’s received numerous inquiries about the Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis statues.

Interested parties include Civil War sites, the city of Savannah, the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Museum in Biloxi, members of the Tennessee General Assembly, and white separatist affiliates.

Turner mentions that a bust statue of Confederate soldier Capt. Harvey Mathes was also removed from Memphis Park, and like Jefferson and Forrest, Mathes is unharmed and securely stored in an undisclosed location until an “appropriate and permanent” location is identified.

Mathes’ great-grandson, interested in moving the bust to his home in Atlanta, also contacted Greenspace, Turner said.

In the letter, Turner asks the governor’s office for help “vetting and identifying” homes for the statues at a time when lawmakers in Nashville are considering funding cuts for Memphis. 

Finally, Turner noted that the gravesites for Forrest and his wife, as well as the grave markers were unbothered during the removal process.

“Greenspace has every intention to continue to respect and maintain the gravesites,” he said.

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