Mandela Suing For Prison Artwork

via M&C

Johannesburg – Former South African President Nelson Mandela has instructed his lawyers to take action against a London art gallery that is selling artwork it says was produced by the anti- apartheid icon, South Africa’s SAPA news agency reported late Friday.

The Belgravia Gallery is selling lithographs it says Mandela produced during a return visit in 2001/2002 to Robben Island, his prison of 18 years off Cape Town, the Guardian newspaper reported.

Gallery director Anna Hunter told the newspaper she had personally witnessed Mandela signing the works in 2002.

But in a statement Friday Mandela’s lawyer Bally Chuene said South Africa’s first democratically-elected president disassociated himself from the works, SAPA reported.

‘Furthermore Mr Mandela has given us instruction to take urgent, appropriate steps against Belgravia Gallery to stop any marketing, distribution and selling of artwork associated with his name,’ the statement added.

Chuene said a South African court had already in 2005 granted an order preventing the gallery from marketing, selling or distributing any artwork under Mandela’s name amid concerns that the proceeds of their sale would not go to charity and that his signature may have been forged.

Hunter has said she is not aware of the impending legal action but expressed surprise to the Guardian saying ‘they are wonderful and historically interesting pieces of art.’

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