Madiba and Tutu murals restored

The project team that facilitated the renewal of the murals. From left are project coordinator at Transversal Facilities Management Colleen Knowles, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, and Zainab Flint and Luqmaan Raban from AR Projects.

The murals on the Civic Centre of two icons of South African history, former president Nelson Mandela and human rights activist Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, have been restored.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis announced the completed project last Tuesday, June 28.

“I am delighted today to reveal the new decals on the Civic Centre Tower Block depicting… Madiba and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

“Their vision of a prosperous country united in its diversity is one that we share and strive for. The renewal of these murals is symbolic of the hope that we aim to restore to our city and to our nation.”

The project, which consisted of the 12-floor-high window decals being removed and replaced with new ones, took three weeks to complete.

A bright new mural of Nelson Mandela has been installed on the Cape Town Civic Centre.

Mr Hill Lewis said the retaining of the existing artwork enabled the City to reserve the unique imagery without unduly inflating costs.

The image of Madiba’s shirt contains images representing some of the city’s most iconic features, including the Bo-Kaap, the penguins at Boulders Beach, Table Mountain, the Kaapse Klopse, and the King Protea, while Archbishop Tutu’s shirt contains imagery of tolerance, freedom, togetherness and peace.

The image of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will also greet motorists coming into the city centre.

The mural of Mandela was the first to be installed in 2015, followed by the mural for the Arch, as Tutu was fondly known, in 2017.

Both were done by the same artist, Lindsey Levendal, who grew up in Mandalay, and who previously told the CapeTowner that he was honoured to be commissioned to “capture such greatness”.

The artwork was hand-drawn by Mr Levendal, scanned, resized and digitally rendered in Photoshop, retouched and perfected, then sent to the agency which handled the print and application to the building.

The image of Mandela was based on a photograph by Matthew Willman and the image of Tutu draws on a photograph by Andrew Zuckerman.

The panels were printed, numbered and installed by abseiling.

It cost roughly R1 million to remove the old panels, then print and install new ones.

Mr Hill-Lewis said the restoration of the Civic Centre’s decals is just one element of an ongoing process of renewal in the city. These projects — which include the restoration of the Strandfontein Pavilion and the reconstruction of the Muizenberg beach huts — will see public buildings and space in Cape Town become city treasures in which every resident can feel a sense of hope and pride.