US civil rights icon Rosa Parks’ house put on display in Naples

US civil rights icon Rosa Parks’ house put on display in Naples

By: Express Web Desk |

Updated: September 17, 2020 4:24:42 pm

Rosa Parks, Rosa Parks detroit house, Ryan Mendoza, Royal Palace in Naples, naples Royal Palace, Rosa Parks civil rightsThe house of US civil rights campaigner Rosa Parks, rebuilt by artist Ryan Mendoza, is on display in the courtyard of an 18th century Royal Palace, in Naples, Italy, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The one-time house of US civil rights icon Rosa Parks has been put on display in the courtyard of the Royal Palace in Naples, Italy. The house was dismantled and transported to Europe by an American artist who received it as a gift from Parks’ niece, BBC reported.

Parks’ niece Rhea McCauley purchased the two-storey building for $500 in 2008, saving it from being demolished by Detroit city authorities during the financial crisis. She then donated it to US artist Ryan Mendoza, who was forced to take it apart and move it to his studio in Berlin in 2016, when officials once again refused to help save it.

In 2018, Brown University in Rhode Island offered to display the house on its campus as part of a civil rights exhibition, but later backed out of the deal due to a legal dispute with Parks’ family. Mendoza later got in touch with the Naples-based Morra Greco Foundation, which agreed to show the house at the Royal Palace, BBC reported.

Ryan Mendoza, rosa parks house Artist Ryan Mendoza poses for photographers in front of the house of US civil rights campaigner Rosa Parks, which he rebuilt for public display, in Naples, Italy, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.  (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The house is now the crown jewel of an exhibition titled ‘Almost Home — The Rosa Parks House Project’. The instalment is accompanied by a repeating soundtrack called “8:46”, which represents the amount of time a Minneapolis police officer had his knee on the neck of unarmed African American George Floyd, earlier this year, AP reported. Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality in the United States.

Rosa Parks became a central figure in the US’ civil rights movement after she refused to give up her seat on a racially segregated bus in Alabama on December 1, 1995 and was arrested for civil disobedience. The incident triggered a year-long boycott of public buses in the city.

Soon after, Parks began receiving anonymous death threats, prompting her to move to Detroit. It was here that she briefly lived in the run-down, paint-chipped house with a few of her relatives.

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