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Artists celebrate Mandela with paintings

July 18, 2013

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — With giant portraits of Nelson Mandela and colorful posters, South African artists celebrate the 95th birthday of the leader, who remains hospitalized although his condition has improved.

The “father of the nation” has inspired many artists to create works to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day on Thursday, declared by the United Nations as a way to recognize the Nobel Prize winner’s contribution to reconciliation.

Artists John Adams and Paul Blomkamp created two of the largest Mandela paintings in tribute to the iconic leader for his years of public service to his community. They say their paintings reflect the scale of Mandela’s global contributions and the exceptional energy of the anti-apartheid leader.

Mandela spent 27 years imprisoned under South Africa’s apartheid government and became its first democratically elected president in 1994.

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