• Press Release

Cape Town International Airport unveils giant Mandela memorial tapestry

December 10, 2015

A giant tapestry in honour of Nelson Mandela has been unveiled at the Cape Town International Airport, on 10 December 2015 to mark International Human Rights Day, Amnesty International announced today.

The artwork is a partnership between Art for Amnesty and the Cape Town International Airport.

The tapestry, entitled ‘Flying Madiba’ – designed by acclaimed Czech artist Peter Sis and woven by Atelier Pinton in Aubusson, France – measures approximately 6 x 3 metres. It will be displayed in the 'meeters and greeters' area of the international arrivals hall of Cape Town International Airport.

The tapestry has been generously backed and funded by Amnesty International artist supporters Bono & The Edge of U2, John Legend, Peter Gabriel, Sting & Yoko Ono.

“This tapestry is a fitting tribute to Nelson Mandela, a champion of human rights across the world. It will provide a constant reminder to the millions of people passing through the Cape Town International airport about his legacy, not only for South Africa but for the world,” said Bill Shipsey, Art for Amnesty’s founder.

“Madiba sacrificed his own freedom to see a better world for everyone. With this tapestry, we are honouring his sacrifices and hoping that he will be remembered forever,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

Nelson Mandela received Amnesty International's most prestigious award, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, in 2006.

“Cape Town International Airport is proud to host this symbolic tapestry in the gateway to Cape Town. It is entirely suitable to showcase the values of this extraordinary man with a fine work of art in the city he loved,” said Deidre Davids, Manager for Communications and Brand, Cape Town International Airport.

“The tapestry will take pride of place in our International Arrivals Hall. It will be the final piece of a broader ambience programme in that area which already has various elements creating a sense of place.” said Deidre Davids.