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Carving Rosa Parks Into National Cathedral's Human Rights Porch (PHOTOS)

Posted: 05/08/2012 11:18 am Updated: 05/08/2012 6:00 pm

WASHINGTON -- Poking around the exterior and interior of Washington National Cathedral, you'll find elaborate gargoyles and stone carvings -- featuring a smorgasbord of animals and mythical creatures and notable figures like "Star Wars" villain Darth Vader and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

This week, the cathedral community will be celebrating a new stone-carved addition to its Human Rights Porch: the late civil rights activist Rosa Parks. Last year, work began carvings of Parks and Mother Theresa.

The Parks carving will be formally installed on Thursday with an evening of song and prayer.

According to the Cathedral, the porch celebrates "those who struggle to bring equality and social justice to all people." Above the porch's portal are full-figure statues of Archbishop Óscar Romero, former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and former Cathedral Dean and Bishop of Washington John T. Walker.

Here's a selection of photos of stonecarver Sean Callahan creating the Parks carving:

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  • Rosa Parks Carving

    The plaster model. <em>Photo by Craig W. Stapert/Washington National Cathedral</em>

  • Rosa Parks Carving

    The plaster model, left, with the carving, right. <em>Photo by Craig W. Stapert/Washington National Cathedral</em>

  • Rosa Parks Carving

    A point is measured on the plaster model. <em>Photo by Craig W. Stapert/Washington National Cathedral</em>

  • Rosa Parks Carving

    The point is transferred to the carving. <em>Photo by Craig W. Stapert/Washington National Cathedral</em>

  • Rosa Parks Carving

    A compressor-powered chisel is used on the carving. <em>Photo by Craig W. Stapert/Washington National Cathedral</em>

  • Rosa Parks Carving

    <em>Photo by Craig W. Stapert/Washington National Cathedral</em>

  • Rosa Parks Carving

    <em>Photo by Craig W. Stapert/Washington National Cathedral</em>

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Filed by Michael Grass  |