A mural was recently added to the Berlin Wall Monument located in the Miracle Mile District of Los Angeles. On Friday July 18, the Los Angeles City Council in partnership with the Wende Museum unveiled the newest addition of artwork to the wall: a giant mural of the late Nelson Mandela drawn by renowned muralist Kent Twitchell.
People gathered to witness the unveiling and to commemorate the first official Nelson Mandela Day. Representatives from nations around the world such as Germany, China, Canada and a number of African countries were present and the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles performed under the direction of Charles Dickerson.
A number of international leaders spoke at the ceremony led by Councilmember Tom LaBonge, and organized by Director of Arts & Culture Kamilla Blanche, who stated that the mural would help to symbolize unity around the world. Consul-General of South Africa Cyril Ndaba spoke about the efforts of the city council to recognize Mandela and help further his cause by saying, “I wish to extend my gratitude for everything that the Los Angelenos have done, not only for us in South Africa, but for the memory of the late founding president of the great South African nation Nelson Mandela.”
Council President Herb Wesson, Jr. and Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr. were also in attendance along with Congresswoman Maxine Waters. “He was a remarkable human being that is known all over the world for his leadership and contributions. The man who brought down apartheid, and showed the world what we all can be a part of,” Waters said.
“The council of Germany spoke about how this wall once divided us, and I am just thrilled be here to be a part of a time when the wall is bringing us all together,” said Wende Museum director Justin Jampol. “I can’t think of a better occasion to signify, to commemorate, to remember the incredible history that this wall has had, and to teach and remind us all that the stories that bind us together are about people.”
City Attorney Michael Feuer also spoke at the ceremony saying, “Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to all of us here in the city of Los Angeles and to people around the world. We may not all live to be as great as Nelson Mandela, but he has touched within us a spark that can ignite a sense of greatness in each of us here in the city of Los Angeles.”
The new mural of Mandela stands as a symbol of hope and unity for mankind, not just here in Los Angeles, but around the world.