A South African artist has announced plans to paint the largest canvas of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela to secure a world record on the occasion of former president's 95th birthday on Thursday.
Artist John Adams said he will aim to make a record by making an almost five meter high painting of Mandela using acrylic and oil paints.
"The idea is to depict the leader's life as one of world's most revered statesmen," Adams said in a statement. He made the announcement as South Africa prepared to mark Mandela's 95th birthday on July 18.
The ailing leader, meanwhile, remains hospitalised in a critical but stable condition for a fifth week running for treatment of a recurring lung infection.
The painting, to be made of twelve canvas panels put together to form the complete structure, will measure almost five metres in height and width when completed.
The artist said he would showcase his creation at the annual Future Ed Expo to be held here on July 25. It will then be auctioned off with part of the proceeds benefiting two local children's charities - the Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children and the Sunlight Safe House Project.
Meanwhile, preparations are on in South Africa to mark Mandela's birthday on Thursday. The government has appealed to people to spend 67 minutes of their time that day to engage in social welfare projects.
July 18, named by the United Nations as International Mandela Day, is set to be the most poignant one yet, said Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.
"The important thing about Mandela Day is that it is not about just giving money, but rather of your time in service of others," Hatang said.