A glass reproduction of Nelson Mandela’s former prison cell has been unveiled outside Florence’s Mandela Forum. The installation comes on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
The Mandela Memorial was inaugurated on February 14, with the ceremony attended by Mandela’s granddaughter and social activist Ndileka Mandela, who had made a speech earlier in the week at the Palazzo Vecchio, thanking the city for the honorary citizenship awarded to her grandfather in 1985 during his imprisonment.
With two small windows, a bucket and a rug for a bed, this small cubicle, measuring 2.3 by 2.59 metres, is a reproduction of the space in which Mandela was confined on Robben Island between 1964 and 1982. It is accessible to the public 24 hours a day all year round and offers a place of reflection on the messages of reconciliation upheld by Mandela after his liberation.
At the presentation, Ndileka Mandela stated, “One of the things that Nelson Mandela said to me when I was little is that the cell gave him the possibility to find the energy that each of us has inside. I believe that we are all responsible, especially those who have the responsibility of government, to seek this energy to pursue our dreams.”
This is the first in a series of initiatives that will take place at the Mandela Forum throughout 2018 in commemoration of the life of this great figure, including various sports events and the Human Rights Meeting in December.
The installation can be visited 24 hours a day all year round.