New filings cast doubt on National Slavery Museum

FREDERICKSBURG, VA (WWBT) - More creditor's are making demands on former Doug Wilder's proposed National Slavery Museum.

The new filings with the US Bankruptcy Court also cast doubt on whether the museum can make it out of bankruptcy.

The 39-acre site was supposed to open six years ago in Fredericksburg. However, as former governor Doug Wilder told NBC12 back in 2009 — one of the last times he spoke publicly about his project — fundraising in a sour economy proved difficult.

"Money is in short supply everywhere. All around the world, so it shouldn't be a surprise that things are not where we would like them to be," said Wilder in 2009.

To get out of bankruptcy, his attorney is proposing the museum try its hand at fundraising once again. Wilder wants to raise $900,000 in its first year out of bankruptcy, with that amount growing each year to repay creditors. But the city of Fredericksburg said not so fast. In court documents it called the plan "highly speculative" and not "feasible or realistic."

Another creditor, "Celebrate Virginia", which donated the land to the museum, asked the judge to convert the case to a liquidation so the land can be sold to repay the debt.

And a third creditor, Hilldrup Companies, a Stafford storage business that began storing office equipment and artifacts for the museum, asked to be paid $1,772 dollars for storage and moving fees.

Meanwhile, people like Therbia Parker, who donated to the museum, await an uncertain future, as he told NBC12 last year.

"People that donated their money, their artifacts. They should see what happened here," said Parker.

The rest of the museum's creditor's have until June 27 to weigh in on the plan to get out of bankruptcy. That's the date of the next hearing, when a federal judge could decide the museum's fate.

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