Buffett told the AP that his foundation plans to give the items, which had been kept in a New York warehouse during a legal battle over Parks' will, to an institute or museum that will put them on permanent public display. After Parks' death in 2005 at the age of 92, the collection, which includes her Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, as well as documents, letters, photographs, clothing, and furniture, became entangled in a years-long legal fight between her heirs and friends. As a result of the lawsuit, the collection was offered up for auction, and the foundation made an offer.
Neither Buffett nor Guernsey's Auctioneers president Arlan Ettinger, who had valued the collection at $10 million, would disclose the amount the foundation paid for the collection, but Ettinger said the judge overseeing the Parks estate was satisfied with the deal. "This material, which needed to be out there to be both educational and inspirational to people today and their children's children, was sitting in our warehouse," said Ettinger. "That was wrong."
"I'm only trying to do one thing: preserve what's there for the public's benefit," said Buffett. "I thought about doing what Rosa Parks would want. I doubt that she would want to have her stuff sitting in a box with people fighting over them."