Mandela tapestry for Cape Town airport

Giant artwork to mark 25 years since Mandela's release from jail

A giant tapestry of former South African president Nelson Mandela is to be hung in the international arrivals hall of Cape Town international airport, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the anti-apartheid hero's release from Robben Island prison in 1990.

The 30-sqm tapestry dedicated to his memory will be funded by Art for Amnesty – the global artist engagement programme of human rights organisation Amnesty International – with the support of Cape Town's airport authorites and the approval of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The project will take several months to complete and the tapestry will be unveiled at a dedication ceremony at the airport towards the end of 2015. Mandela, who died in December 2013, received Amnesty International’s highest honour, the Ambassador of Conscience award, at a ceremony in Johannesburg in 2006.

Art for Amnesty unites artists of all disciplines in a collaborative campaign to support and promote the cause of human rights. This is the group's third memorial tapestries following similar projects dedicated to the late Czech president, dissident and playwright Vaclav Havel, and Irish poet and Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney.

The tapestries were funded by musicians such as Bono and The Edge of U2, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Sting, and Yoko Ono.