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Museum Wants Part of Gypsy Wall

November 25, 1999

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) _ A museum in a northern Czech town asked municipal authorities Thursday for part of the controversial wall that was put up to separate Gypsies from other residents in the town, a news agency reported.

The Museum of Usti nad Labem’s secretary, Vaclav Houfek, said he wants to include part of the wall in an exhibition in the town, the CTK news agency reported.

Authorities in Usti nad Labem, 55 miles north of Prague, built the wall in October, prompting sharp criticism both inside and outside the Czech Republic. The six-foot-high, 92-foot long wall was pulled down Wednesday morning.

The wall separated 37 families, most of them ethnic minority Gypsies, also known as Roma, from inhabitants of three small houses across the street. The non-Roma neighbors had complained about noise from the two buildings.

Houfek said his museum has numerous documents about the wall, including photographs and video tapes, and plans to open the exhibition next year.

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