A table very sober painted by the former south african president Nelson Mandela, representing the door of his cell at Robben Island where he was detained for 18 years, will be auctioned in early may in New York.

The value of The Cell Door, Robben Island (the door of The cell on Robben Island) , conducted in 2002 by the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, as a symbol of its struggle against apartheid, is estimated between 60,000 and 90,000 dollars by the auction house Bonhams. The artwork will be auctioned next Thursday in the context of a sale of contemporary african art.

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Giles Peppiatt, director of african art at Bonhams, held to clarify: “Hold a picture of one of the most important men of the Twentieth century (…) is something remarkable for any collector. It is the first work of Nelson Mandela sold on the market”. This very simple, never publicly exposed so far, just shows, from the outside, the door of the cell with a few bars and the key on the lock. This is one of the few tables that Mandela was being kept until his death in 2013.

Mandela began to paint in 1999

“After leaving the presidency in 1999, Nelson Mandela began to paint, he had more time at its disposal,” said Giles Peppiatt, calling it the work of “personal” and “moving”. The table was previously owned by his daughter, Pumla Makaziwe Mandela.

Nelson Mandela was painted in a total of between 20 and 25 tables, said Giles Peppiatt. Some have been reproduced in the form of lithographs to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela foundation. The first black president of South Africa spent a total of 27 years in prison from 1962 to 1990. He was imprisoned on Robben Island, off Cape town from 1964 to 1982.

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison, the work The Cell Door, Robben Island ( the Door of The cell, Robben Island ), symbolizes this drama…