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Brooks Museum considering leaving Overton Park

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- After more than 100 years in Overton Park, the Brooks Museum of Art announced it is considering moving to a new location.

In a letter sent out Tuesday, the museum's executive director and board president wrote, "The Brooks' board of directors recently passed a resolution that adds the option of relocation, outside Overton Park, to our current list of building options for expansion."

Nothing's been decided yet, but students at the nearby Memphis College of Art were dismayed to learn the state's oldest art museum could be leaving.

"I think that would be kind of messed up," said Henry McDonald. "I feel like it is Overton Park itself."

To many students, the museum is something akin to an extension of their classroom, with many making frequent trips there.

"I believe it is better for it to be here in the park, especially with this being an art school right next to it. There's a lot of things that students can learn from it," said Justin Mull.

As the Brooks Museum makes its decision, it says it will be working closely with Overton Park, the Overton Park Conservancy and the city. It also says if it does move, it'll do what it can to make sure the current building goes to "productive" and "positive" use, but provides few specifics.

"The building itself is beautiful, the architecture. So I would hope that anything that is put there when they leave would be good," said Jillian Duke.

It's not clear how soon the Brooks Museum is planning on deciding whether to relocate or how many options they're considering.

WREG reached out to the mayor's office for a response but was told he was out of town until Thursday.

A city spokesperson did say someone from the city would be able to respond Wednesday.

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