BERLIN, April 12 American artist Ryan Mendoza,
who has moved the former house of late civil rights icon Rosa
Parks from Detroit to Berlin, says he would like to return it
to the United States one day.
Parks' refusal in 1955 to give up her bus seat in Alabama
for a white passenger became a symbol of the U.S. civil rights
movement. She later moved to Detroit, where the house she lived
in faced demolition until her niece, Rhea McCauley, bought it.
McCauley paid $500 for the two-storey dwelling and in turn
handed it over to Mendoza, who painstakingly stripped it into
2,000 pieces and paid $13,000 to move it to Berlin, where he has
put it back together again outside his studio.
Now he wants to move the house back to the United States.
"This house really belongs in the United States," he told
Reuters. "It doesn't belong here, but since it is here, it
encourages more people to think about why it was on the
Mendoza would also like to involve former U.S. first lady
Michelle Obama in the project.
"It would be the perfect solution if Michelle Obama became
the ambassador of this project," he said. "She has the courage
and she totally convinced me when she said what was so obvious:
that the White House was built by slaves."
Former U.S. President Barack Obama is due to join German
Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin in May as part of
celebrations to mark 500 years of Protestantism in Europe.
(Reporting by Ute Swart; Writing by Paul Carrel)