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Giant tapestry unveiled to marked Mandela's death anniversary

A silhouette of Mandela flying across a map of South Africa signifying his contribution in freeing the country after decades of minority white apartheid rule is shown in the tapestry.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:December 13, 2015, 7:22 AM IST
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Giant tapestry unveiled to marked Mandela's death anniversary
A silhouette of Mandela flying across a map of South Africa signifying his contribution in freeing the country after decades of minority white apartheid rule is shown in the tapestry.

Johannesburg: South Africa has unveiled a giant tapestry in honour of Nelson Mandela to mark the second death anniversary of the iconic anti-apartheid leader. Titled 'Flying Madiba', the tapestry unveiled at Cape Town International Airport, stands six metres wide and three metres high at the arrival hall of the airport.

A silhouette of Mandela flying across a map of South Africa signifying his contribution in freeing the country after decades of minority white apartheid rule is shown in the tapestry. Commissioned by Amnesty International in partnership with the airport authority, the tapestry was designed by Czechoslovakian artist Peter Sis and was weaved by Atelier Pinton in France.

The tapestry has been funded by renowned musicians and singers Bono and Edge of U2, John Legend, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Yoko Ono. "This tapestry was a fitting tribute to Mandela, who was a champion of human rights across the world, as it had been unveiled on International Human Rights Day," said Bill Shipsey, Art for Amnesty's founder.

Mandela received Amnesty International's most prestigious award, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, in 2006. Cape Town International Airport was chosen as it is the premier tourist destination and also the city where Mandela first addressed South Africans after his release from 27 years of imprisonment, Cape Town International Airport was chosen to unveil the tapestry.

Alongside, an increase in demand for coffins similar to one in which Mandela was buried is continuing to grow, a spokesperson of Avbob, South Africa's leading funeral undertaker said. In accordance of Mandela's wishes that his coffin should not be elaborate, the company, which has buried almost all of country's head of state had kept it very simple etching just three red roses on the white lid of the coffin.

"People want to be bury their loved ones or themselves in replicas of this coffin because Mandela was a world icon and also because it was not a fancy, elegant one," said Marius du Plessis, Avbob's Group Communications Manager. There are plans to prepare a scale model of Mandela's coffin with a 3D printer for Avbob's museum in Pretoria.

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