Madiba Bust Unveiled on International Nelson Mandela Day
On 18 July 2012, the dedication of 67 minutes on International Nelson Mandela Day was celebrated by the unveiling of a bust of the iconic South African at the V&A Conference Centre in Cape Town. Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer and representatives of the Bavarian Parliament were among the dignitaries attending the launch of the artwork by noted German sculptor Tom Rucker.
Dr Meyer spoke about the mutually beneficial Bavaria-Western Cape Partnership which began in 1995 with the signing of an agreement by the Western Cape Premier and the Minister-President of Bavaria. German Consul-General, Roland Hermann, said that Mandela's name is synonymous with the miracles that have occurred in South Africa since the early 1990s. He said that Mandela is as present in the minds of the South African people as he was in the past. The sculpture was a fitting and dignifying tribute to both the event and Mandela's life. Hermann Imhoff of the Bavarian Parliament described Mandela as a globally respected figure. Unveiling the artwork, Premier Zille paid tribute to Mandela's sacrifices and said that International Nelson Mandela Day is a celebration of great leadership in times of crisis. She described the bust as a fitting symbol of the value of the Bavarian-Western Cape Partnership.
The Head of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Brent Walters, thanked Premier Zille and the Western Cape Government for commemorating Mandela's birthday in this memorable way. The sculpture consists of platinum, black diamonds, black rhodium and white Meissen biscuit porcelain. All of the materials are from South Africa, except for the porcelain, which comes from Germany. Dave Steward of the FW de Klerk Foundation admired the way that using black diamonds for eyes brought the sculpture to life.
Dr Meyer said that the event was a milestone in the Western Cape-Bavaria Partnership and an important way of uniting people. The unveiling of the bust brought South Africa and Germany closer together in their celebration of the life and work of our beloved Madiba.