RVA auction house puts 9/11 wreckage up for bid, adjusts course after outcry

Chris Thomas NBC 12 Richmond

SALEM, VA (WWBT) -Wreckage from the World Trade Center now stands as memorials across the country, including right here in Central Virginia. A Richmond company is coming under fire with plans to auction off a 9/11 memorial to the highest bidder.

The auction is making national headlines. Fox News called it a “disgraceful cash grab.” A Richmond auction house, Motley’s Asset Disposition Group, is at the center of the controversy.

“People making profit off the blood of innocent civilians and first responders is just flat out wrong,” said Goochland County Fire Chief William MacKay. “There is no way to justify it.”

Chief Mackay worked for years to bring a portion of the wreckage back here to Central Virginia. He was among the first responders on 9/11.

“It was a war-zone,” recalls Chief MacKay who is outraged to see pictures promoting online bidding for a World Trade Center Memorial in Salem, VA. “Anybody who has a remote tie to 9/11…this is a slap in the face.”

The 40-foot-high 20-ton memorial is made from two steel beams from the Word Trade Center’s North Tower. Motley’s tells NBC12 instead of auctioning off the memorial individually, they will now auction the memorial as part of the entire sale of the Old Virginia Brick property in Salem.

“That means whoever buys the real estate will also be the new owner of the monument,” said Mark Motley who is president of Motley’s Asset Disposition Group. “We were trying to do a good thing, and some people I think got their feelings hurt over the nature and sensitivity of the monument.”

Chief MacKay says there’s only one satisfactory thing to do with the 9/11 monument.

“Give it back to the Port Authority of New York and let them give it to a worthy cause,” said Chief MacKay. “They can put it up on the auction site, and hopefully there will be no bidders.”

We’ll keep you posted on what happens. All bids are currently due by next Tuesday, June 23rd at 1 P.M.

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