Mandela Portrait Breaks South Africa Record

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 03:  Nelson Mandela smiles during a lunch to Benefit the Mandela Children's Foundation as part of the celebrations of the opening of the new One&Only Cape Town resort on April 3, 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa. The One&Only is Sol Kerzner's first hotel in his home country since 1992. The 130 room property is One&Only's first Urban resort and sits in the fashionable Waterfront district. Celebrities from all over the world including Mariah Carey, Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, Thandie Newton and Marisa Tomei will attend the event. Gordon Ramsay will be launching his first restaurant in Africa at the resort, Maze and Robert De Niro will be opening Nobu. Nelson Mandela will be attending an intimate luncheon at Maze on Friday to celebrate his long-standing relationship with Mr. Kerzner.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Nelson Mandela

Mandela Portrait Breaks South Africa Record

A photographic portrait of Nelson Mandela has been bought by a private art collector in New York for $200,000, the highest price ever paid for a local portrait, organizers said Tuesday.

Published December 3, 2013

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A photographic portrait of Nelson Mandela has been bought by a private art collector in New York for $200,000, the highest price ever paid for a local portrait, organizers said Tuesday.

The money will be donated to the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital, currently under construction in Johannesburg, and to the World Wildlife Fund. The portrait is part of a series of 21 portraits of South African icons

The portrait, by 21 Icons creator and photographer Adrian Steirn, depicts Nelson Mandela's face reflected in a mirror.

"I wanted Madiba to hold a mirror so that we could see a man reflecting on his life. As he reflects on his life, we reflect on his legacy and our future," Steirn said, using Mandela's clan name.

The remaining portraits, including those of former Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu and former South African President F.W. De Klerk, will be auctioned at an event in March 2014, with proceeds donated to the charity of each subject's choice.

Eykyn Maclean, a New York and London-based gallery, facilitated the sale of the Mandela portrait.

The anonymous buyer said about the portrait: "I am honored to own what has already become an iconic image of one of the greatest statesmen the world has ever known. In a single frame the photographer has captured the essence of dignity, principle, conviction and courage in this great man from whose life's work and dedication to a greater cause we all have much to learn, and by which I am inspired daily."

The construction of a children's hospital has been a longheld dream of Mandela's and before he fell ill he had campaigned for funds for its construction. The state-of-the-art hospital is scheduled to open late in 2014 and will be a 200-bed facility providing world-class pediatric care.

Mandela, 95, is in critical but stable condition, under intensive medical care at his Johannesburg home, after being discharged in September from a lengthy hospitalization.


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(Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Written by Ray Faure, Associated Press

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