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UN’s António Guterres: Mandela statue will be inspiration to all

Sculpted by Andre Otto and Andre Prinsloo, the Nelson Mandela statue at the UN headquarters is based on a picture taken of the former president in 1994.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres (centre) attends a ceremony held to unveil the Nelson Mandela Statue gifted to the United Nations by the Republic of South Africa. Picture: United Nations Photo

NEW YORK - United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres says a statue of Nelson Mandela that’s been unveiled at the UN will be an inspiration to all who walk through the doors of the organising body’s headquarters in New York.

President Cyril Ramaphosa helped unveil the 1.9-metre statue in the company of Graca Machel and various South African Cabinet ministers.

Sculpted by Andre Otto and Andre Prinsloo, who were also behind the Madiba statue at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the Nelson Mandela statue at the United Nations is based on a picture taken of the former president in 1994.

“When Mandela was at the UN with open hands and he had a blessing for the whole of the world.”

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa says it’s a tangible reminder for people of the values Madiba stood for.

“Values of peace, friendship and selflessness, and this we hope that the whole will inspire the world.”

The statue will be permanently housed in the UN Visitors Centre.

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa has said Mandela will forever hold a special place in the world for his dedication to peace and his legacy of forgiveness.

Ramaphosa told delegates that he hopes the 1.9-metre sculpture will serve as a constant reminder to the international community of the role Mandela played in advocating for peace.

Additional reporting by Sifiso Zulu.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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