Rosa Parks' house comes to Italy

House of US civil rights hero goes on display in Naples.

The dilapidated timber house of US civil rights icon Rosa Parks has gone on public display at the Royal Palace in Naples.

Rosa Parks was an African American civil rights leader who became famous in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus, leading to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and nationwide efforts to end racial segregation.

Parks lived in the Detroit house until her death in 2005, after which the building was abandoned. It was saved from demolition by Parks’ niece, Rhea McCauley, who bought the house and donated it to American artist Ryan Mendoza.

Rosa Parks' house in Naples. Photo La Repubblica.

Unsuccessful in his attempts to persuade Detroit city authorities to save the house, Mendoza had the building dismantled and reassembled in Berlin in 2016, where it went on display.

The paint-chipped house now comes to Italy, thanks to the Morra Greco Foundation and Regione Campania, with curators issuing the following statement:

"With the Almost Home - The Rosa Parks House Project, Ryan Mendoza keeps alive the memory of Rosa Parks and all those who lived in the house during a dramatic and conflicted moment in American history, whose identity, today called into question by the return of the Black Lives Matter movement, appears increasingly fragile and contradictory due to the wounds of a colonial past still open."

The house is on display in the central courtyard of the Palazzo Reale in Naples where it can be visited for free until 31 May.

General Info

Address Piazza del Plebiscito, 1, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy

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Rosa Parks' house comes to Italy

Piazza del Plebiscito, 1, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy

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Wanted in Rome is a monthly magazine in English for expatriates in Rome established in 1985. The magazine covers Rome news stories that may be of interest to English and Italian speaking residents, and tourists as well. The publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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