PAINTING SLAMMED

THE National Interfaith Council (NILC) yesterday expressed its "grave condemnation" of a painting portraying the corpse of Nelson Mandela.

THE National Interfaith Council (NILC) yesterday expressed its "grave condemnation" of a painting portraying the corpse of Nelson Mandela.

"The exploitation of Madiba in this manner has absolutely no artistic justification other than to insult and harm the dignity of our icon, while making profit," the NILC said in a statement.

The NILC said the painting by Yiull Damaso was an affront to the values of any culture and it went beyond the bounds of artistic freedom of expression.

"We are concerned that the Mail & Guardian's trend of publishing offensive and divisive materials, in the form of cartoons and the recent Mandela corpse painting, seems to be continuing," the NILC said.

A photograph of the painting and the story behind it were published in the newspaper on Friday.

"It therefore pains us gravely that his iconic image can be exploited in a manner that undermines the great values he taught our nation and the world."

The painting, which is on display at a Johannesburg shopping centre, is a modern take on the 17th century Rembrandt canvas The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp, which depicts doctors watching a postmortem. - Sapa

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