NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Members of the New Orleans city council approved plans Thursday for a National Slave Ship Museum.
If the proposal wins final approval, the museum will be located at the Celeste Street Wharf in the Lower Garden District.
Supporters say the museum will enhance and perpetuate New Orleans' status as a major cultural hub and destination by recreating the saga of the African Diaspora story of slave trade in the United States along the Mississippi River, via the Port of New Orleans.
The proposed $170 million museum will include a life-size interactive slave ship built inside a new five-story building and a riverfront park with an amphitheater and two replica African villages.
The museum complex will also include a Creole Caribbean African restaurant, an herb and vegetable garden, a DNA lab, an exhibit and meeting space.
As a part of the museum experience, visitors will have the opportunity to travel aboard a fully functioning replica slave ship that will sail to Natchez, Miss., and Scott's Bluff in Baton Rouge, located near Southern University.
District "B" Councilmember LaToya Cantrell said in a prepared statement, "The National Slave Ship Museum will be the next great attraction for visitors and locals to experience. It will reconnect Americans to their complicated and rich history and provide a neutral ground for all of us to examine the costs of our country's development."