Art on ‘dead Mandela’ kicks up row

Johannesburg, July 10: A painting that depicts a “dead” Nelson Mandela undergoing an autopsy provoked outrage Saturday in South Africa, but the artist who created the work has said it is a tribute to the iconic leader.

The painting by local artist, Mr Yuill Damaso, depicts South Africa’s first black president’s “dead body” on an operating table, undergoing an autopsy as prominent political figures look on.

The work, which is on display in an upmarket Johannesburg shopping centre, has drawn criticism from South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC). “The ANC is appalled and strongly condemns in the strongest possible terms the ‘Dead Mandela’ painting,” it said.

But Mr Damaso said he meant no disrespect to the hero of South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle.

He said, “Mr Mandela achieved great things by working hard, but the painting shows that he is just an ordinary man.”

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