South Africa's ANC livid over Mandela autopsy painting
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has branded as "racist" a painting showing former president Nelson Mandela undergoing and autopsy. World Cup organisers hope Madiba, as Mandela is affectionately known, will be at Sunday night’s final to hand the trophy to the winner of the clash between Spain and the Netherlands.
The decision whether Mandela will be strong enough at attend is being left to the last minute.
He was not at the opening of the competition last month because he was grieving the death of his great-granddaughter on the eve of event.
The artwork of Mandela’s body stripped and undergoing an autopy, and surrounded by prominent South African political figures has outraged many.
The country’s ruling ANC party said the work, which went on display at an upmarket Johannesburg shopping mall, is insulting, disrespectful and an affront to South African societal values.
Painter Yuill Damaso said he was merely underlying the reality that the most revered South African in history is simply a human being, adding that it is a tribute to Mandela.
The work is a modern version of a 17th century piece by Rembrandt called "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp", which depicts doctors watching an autopsy of a criminal.