Friday, July 17, 2009


Original published February 8, 2007 (Updated July 17. 2009)

For additional information on these contentious issues of authenticity, link to: MANDELA LITHOGRAPH FRAUD & COVERUP

Note: Footnotes are enclosed with { }.

All -11,500-{1} or more so-called “lithographs”{2}, attributed to Nelson Mandela, are "something that is not what it purports to be"{3} which is one legal definition of -fake-.

Nelson Mandela, his attorney Ismail Ayob, the publisher Ross Calder and all participating galleries such as Belgravia Gallery have, with or without intent, misrepresented -reproductions-, of so-called Nelson Mandela drawn “chalk-and-pastel drawings”{4} and “paint-covered hand transfer on a piece of paper”{5}, as “lithographs” ie., original works of visual art for sale at “$3,190 to $19,533”{6} or more each. (See addendum for price list)

Lithographs "must be wholly executed by hand by the artist {and} excludes any mechanical and photomechanical processes."{7}

Reproductions are copies of original “works of visual art” done by someone other than the original artist.

In other words, lithographs versus reproductions could never be considered interchangeable, much less the same. These factual perspectives are confirmed by U.S. Customs regulations, U.S. Copyright Law, statutory law and independent documented definitions.

Therefore the misrepresentation and sale of reproductions as -Nelson Mandela- lithographs is "a knowing concealment of the truth or misrepresentation of a material fact to induce someone to his or her detriment" which is one legal definition of -fraud-.

Price unframed: £ 10500“The Guard Tower - Drawing
Signed, limited edition lithograph -This piece is a part of a set of 3 (NM112,
NM113 and NM114). The price includes drawing, photograph and motivation”

A lithograph begins with the artist drawing on a stone, plate or mylar. The artist drawn image, on a stone, plate or mylar, is the tool not the artwork. Just like a painter using a palette and brush to create a painting. Then image drawn by the artist on the stone, plate or mylar is technically prepared by the artist for printing and then printed by the artist. The result are lithographs ie., original works of visual art.

This is confirmed by the U.S. Customs’ May 2006 An Informed Compliance Publication titled Works of Art, Collector’s Pieces Antiques, and Other Cultural Property. In part, it states: “The expression ‘original engravings, prints and lithographs’ means impressions produced directly, in black and white or in color, of one or of several plates wholly executed by the hand of the artist, irrespective of the process or of the material employed by him, but excluding any mechanical or photomechanical process.”{8}

The above titled “The Guard Tower -Drawing,” attributed to Nelson Mandela, is actually a non-disclosed reproduction of one of his drawings and misrepresented as a “Nelson Mandela lithograph.” This misrepresentation is backhandedly admitted by the title given: “The Guard Tower - Drawing” and confirmed by the following deceptive description given: “The price includes drawing, photograph and motivation.”

Why call it a lithograph then state the “price includes {a} drawing?”

In other words, no matter what price the consumer would pay for the above non-disclosed reproduction, they would not be receiving a Nelson Mandela “drawing” or “lithograph” but "something that is not what it purports to be" which is one legal definition of -fake-.

So, what artwork, if any, did Nelson Mandela really create?

"Mandela’s Walk”
“Signed, limited edition lithograph{s}”

"The Courtyard - Drawing”
“Signed, limited edition lithograph{s}”

“The Ward - Drawing”
“Signed, limited edition lithograph{s}”

On the Belgravia Gallery’s website, Nelson Mandela is quoted stating: "When I initially did the sketches in black chalk, the images looked quite bleak. Then I thought that it should be a celebration and introduced the bright and cheery colours which I understand has become a new art form and I hope that it will give you as much pleasure as I have had in creating these images. I thank you."

Yet, in the South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper’s published October 27, 2002 “R13m summons for Mandela’s lawyer” article by Bonny Schoonakker, the reporter wrote that Martin Feinsten, a director of Concept a charity to benefit Nelson Mandela’s “Children’s Fund,” said that “the {sale of prints of the Touch of Mandela} project had been devised by Ayob {Nelson Mandela’s lawyer} and the managing director of Concept, Ross Calder. The pictures, though traced and signed by Mandela, were originally drawn by an artist employed by Concept.”{9}

That artist was named, in the South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper’s published January 26, 2003 “How Mandela is becoming an old master” article by Gill Moodle. In part, the reporter wrote that “the elder statesmen did about 35 hours of one-on-one lessons with young Cape Town artist Varenka Paschke at his home - Paschke’s job is to help Mandela explore his memories and reflect them in art. Besides doodling during his long imprisonment, the Nobel laureate had not tried his hand at art before. In fact, he told his art publisher Ross Calder the prefers to write than to draw.”{10}

This is answered in the Associated Press published February 7, 2003 “At 84, Mandela embarks on a new career - art” article by Ravi Nessman posted on website. In part, the reporter wrote: “The inspiration for the new career came when art publisher Ross Calder saw Yoko Ono was using John Lennon’s sketches to raise money for charity. He took the idea to Mandela, suggesting he could do the same.”{11}

Ross Calder’s inspiration, “Yoko Ono,” since 1986 some five years after John Lennon’s death in 1980, has misrepresented over 41,000 posthumous black-and-white reproductions, colorized and altered composition -fakes- as the "Artwork of John Lennon" ie., “lithographs,” “serigraphs,” “etchings,” “woodcuts” for $500 to $9,000 or more each{12}.

This is answered on page 350 in Ralph Mayer’s HarperCollins Dictionary of Art Terms & Techniques, the term -reproduction- is defined as: “A general term for any copy, likeness, or counterpart of an original work of art or of a photograph, done in the same medium as the original or in another, and done by someone other than the creator of the original.”{13}

Since, Nelson Mandela’s only acknowledged original creative medium was “drawing” and “sketches in black chalk {and} color,” any resulting so-called editions from them would be, at best, -reproductions-.

This is confirmed under U.S. Copyright Law §101 Definitions, “a ‘derivative work’ is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as - {an} art reproduction.” Therefore, under §106A those “rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity- shall not apply to any reproduction.”

In other words, the printer of those non-disclosed Nelson Mandela reproductions would own those “derivative” rights, not Nelson Mandela.

This rarely understood perspective is confirmed under U.S. Copyright Law §103. Subject matter of copyright: Compilations and derivative works. In part, it states: “the copyright in a compilation or derivative work extends only to the material contributed by the author of such work.”

North Carolina Chapter § 25C-16 requires disclosure of reproductions as “reproductions” if sold for $100 or more. In part, under Chapter § 25C-14 it states: “(a)An art dealer who sells or offers to sell a print not exempt under G.S. 25C-16, shall disclose the following information in a writing to the prospective purchaser: (b) If the print or its plate or negative is a mechanical, photomechanical or photographic copy or reproduction of a master image previously created or produced in another medium, this information shall be disclosed as part of the disclosure required by subsection (a) of this section{14}.”

California, South Carolina, Georgia, Michigan, Maryland, New York and many other states have similar disclosure statutes requiring disclosure of reproductions as “reproductions.” The statutory penalties in many of these states for failing to disclose a reproduction as a “reproduction” may include but not limited to: refund, interest, attorney fees, court costs, expert witness fees, treble damages and potential $1,000 fines per occurrence.

Price unframed: £ 10500
“The Guard Tower - Motivation
Signed, limited edition lithograph -This piece is a part of a set of 3 (NM112,
NM113 and NM114). The price includes drawing, photograph and motivation”

Another way, to confirm these are non-disclosed -reproductions-, is to look at the (above) so-called Nelson Mandela "lithograph” titled “The Guard Tower - Motivation” that appears to have two “Mandela” signatures applied below the image, bottom right and bottom center.

On page 1387 in the Seventh Edition of Black’s Law Dictionary, the term “-signature- is defined as: “A person’s name or mark written by that person or at the person’s direction.”{15}

Why would Nelson Mandela’s signature appear twice?

The answer, in part, is: Nelson Mandela’s name appears twice because one of two “Mandela” signatures was reproduced when the above signed letter, titled “The Guard Tower - Motivation” was photo-mechanically reproduced.

The photo-mechanical reproduction of this letter and signature would confirm under U.S. Customs regulations, as noted earlier, that this so-called “The Guard Tower - Motivation - lithograph” could not be a “lithograph” as promoted since it must “exclude all mechanical and photomechanical processes.”

As for the second “Mandela” signature, it could have been applied by Nelson Mandela.

Price unframed: £ POA
“Hand of Africa” by Nelson Mandela

Price unframed: £ 3550
“Impressions of Africa” by Nelson Mandela

Once again, lithographs are originals works of visual art and not reproductions of paint transferred by the hand of the artist to paper.

Yet, in the London Times published May 15, 2003 “Mandela: the man with Africa in the palm of his hand” article by Jack Malvern, Arts Reporter and Sam Lister, the authors wrote: “Mr. Mandela was working in his studio when he rested his hand on one of his paintings, covering it in acrylic paint. When he wiped his hand on a clean piece of paper, the image of Africa that appeared inspired his publisher to turn the hand print into a series of lithographs.”{16}

Notice the two “Mandela” names in the image of the “Impressions of Africa.” Once again, a dead giveaway that it is a reproduction with a reproduced signature with a potentially second signature signed by Mandela.

950 white, 950 cream
SIZE 150mm x 210mm

The so-called "Struggle Series" described by the Australian Touch Galleries on their struggleseries/03.html website as containing: "six lithographs, five sketches and a sixth page containing a written motivation by Nelson Mandela" have two separate editions of 950 on white and cream paper, 25 artist proofs and 7 printer proofs.

Unfortunately, the 10,992 so-called "Struggle Series" lithographs are all actually non-disclosed chromist-made (someone who copies an artist's work) reproductions of someone else's drawings, -not- by Nelson Mandela.

This perspective that the "Struggle Series" are, at best, -reproductions- is confirmed in a Business Day published March 5, 2004 "Madiba's controversial Robben Island prints worth a packet" article by Trevor Bisseker. In part, the reporter wrote: "Prints of the Struggle series were made by Mark Attwood of The Artists Press, based in White River. 'I was commissioned by Ismail Ayob, Mandela's lawyer, and made 750 prints by letterpress of the charcoal sketches, which showed six different images of the hands," says Attwood.'"

Lithographs, as original works of visual art created by an artist, would never be trivialized as a copy or anything, much less charcoal sketches.

The fact, that they are reproductions, is further confirmed in a November 19, 2003 email, to this scholar, from V Gallery owner Andries Loots. In part, he wrote: "The Struggle Series were done by the Artist Press and the man is Mark Attwood. - It is all very technical to me but he explained as follows: Original charcoal drawing from Mr. Mandela is laser drum scanned and the output scan is put on an images setter to produce a negative. The negative is contact exposed and photo polymer and transfered onto a letter press plate. This results in a raised up block from which a relief print or letterpress print is printed."

If you scan an original work of visual art, such as a charcoal drawing, the subsequent images reproduced would be reproductions.

Remember, lithographs would never be trivialized as copies of art since they are original works of visual art that "must be wholly executed by hand by the artist" and "excludes any mechanical and photomechanical processes." (U.S. Customs)

So, did Nelson Mandela actually create the charcoal drawings that were reproduced resulting in reproductions and subsequently misrepresented as lithographs?

Not according to the South Africa "The Truth" published July 14, 2006 "fraud" article by Sue Williamson. In part, the reporter wrote: "The first {Struggle} series, the hand series, was drawn by graphic designer Tish Roux based on concept sketches by Hugh McCallum in 2000. In July 2001, Nelson Mandela traced over the pictures and hand-wrote a statement to accompany them: 'I draw hands because they are powerful instruments, hands can hurt or heal, punish or uplift."

Tracing someone elses' work does not qualify as drawings by Nelson Mandela.

With or without intent, Nelson Mandela participated in this fraud.

As noted earlier, the total number in these six so-called "Struggle Series" editions is 10,992.

So, how long would it take Nelson Mandela to -sign and number- these nearly 11,000 reproductions?

If Nelson Mandela could sign and number one a minute, for two hours a day totaling 120 each day, 5 days a week, it would take over 18 weeks to complete such an herculean task.

So, did Nelson Mandela accomplish such a feat?

Not according to an Australian forensic handwriting expert Paul Westwood in a report submitted to the Johannesburg Supreme Court. In a News 24 published June 18, 2005 "Mandela signature 'imitation'" article by Yvonne Beyers-Beeld, the reporter wrote: "According to the expert's report - Mandela's signature on some of the prints in his Struggle series, as well as on prints of the other works of art, "were traced from common sample signatures."

Additionally, News24 reporter wrote: "the forensic handwriting expert - said in his report that the similarities in the signatures on Mandela's works of art 'are visible immediately' and that it is 'highly unlikely that it occurred by accident' as the signature of the same person normally 'differ slightly because of 'natural variation.' The only reasonable assumption that can be made regarding the similarities in the form of the signatures is that the signatures are tracings based on a common model'."

This forensic hand-writing expert's professional opinion, the reporter wrote is supported by "an affidavit by Charl Donavan Saunders, a former employee of the Concept Group that marketed and sold former president's artworks, a senior employee of the company undertook research in 2001 regarding a machine that could imitate signatures."

Additionally, the reporter quoted former Concept Group employee Charl Donavan Saunders, in his affidavit, stating: "I understood that the machine was of importance for the 'Touch of Mandela' art project and that it would have been used to reproduce signatures. I now understand that the purchase of the signature machine was imperative to ensure the further productions (of Mandela's signed works of art) as there was concern about Mr. Mandela's health."

Former director Ross Calder, of the now bankrupt Concept Group, was the publisher of the "Touch of Mandela" project. This is the same Ross Calder who signed the so-called "Certificates of Authenticity" guaranteeing Nelson Mandela signed these so-called lithographs.

This is the same Ross Calder being sued by Nelson Mandela.

In a Mail & Guardian's published May 24, 2005 "Surprise in Mandela art case" article, it stated: "Mandela has filed a lawsuit to stop his ex-lawyer Ismail Ayob and Calder 'pursuing a secret agenda' and selling millions of dollars of fake artwork portraying his prison years. Mandela said Ayob 'has acted in a duplicitous and mala fide manner, leading me to believe that he would comply with my wishes and requests while pursuing a separate and secret agenda'."

Whether Nelson Mandela understood the -fraud- he was involved in or not is an explanation not an excuse but that all changed when his interest, reputation and money were threaten as documented in dozens and dozens of subsequently published articles. Here are excerpts of just two of those articles.

On April 13, 2005, the South African BusinessDay newspaper published the “Madiba artworks sold after approval withdrawn - Bizos” article by Political Correspondent Vukani Mde. In part, the correspondent wrote: “ISMAIL Ayob, Nelson Mandela’s former lawyer, reproduced the former president’s signature and attached it to artworks that he marketed as genuine “Madiba art,” Mandela’s advocate, George Bizos said yesterday.”{17}

On April 17, 2005, the Guardian newspaper published the “Furious Mandela sues ally over art sales” article by Andrew Meldrum in Johannesburg. In part, the reporter wrote: “To raise money for his charities, Mandela endorsed the art scheme devised by Ayob. - It is claimed they were based on rough sketches by Mandela which were ‘enhanced’ into colour lithographs. Artist Varenka Paschke, granddaughter of apartheid-era Prime Minister P.W. Botha, is said to have created the final works from which the prints were produced. Publicity releases said that Paschke ‘tutored’ Mandela. - The lawsuit {by Nelson Mandela against his lawyer Ismail Ayob} will claim that the prints were mass-produced and Mandela’s signature was mechanically reproduced.”{18}

In other words, Nelson Mandela, Ross Calder, Ismal Ayob and all participating galleries, with or without intent, ripped off thousands of patrons for thousands of dollars each in this so-called “Touch of Mandela.” Then Nelson Mandela’s associates got greedy and tried to rip off Nelson Mandela himself and got caught. Now, they have turned on each other.

Hence, a -Den of Thieves-.

What needs to be accomplished is the full and honest disclosure of all reproductions as -reproductions- by Nelson Mandela, publisher Ross Calder, attorney Ismail Ayob and all participating galleries. With full and honest disclosure for all reproductions as: -reproductions-, it would allow consumers to give informed consent on whether they wish to attend an exhibit of these reproductions, much less purchase one.

The reputations and legacy of living and past artists and the art-buying public deserve the re-establishment of the obvious; that the living presence and participation of the artist to once again be required, as it always should have been, to create the piece of art attributable to the artist if indeed it is attributed to them, much less purported to have been signed by them.

NOTE: Read this Emmy award winning "Local Gallery Accused of Selling Phony Mandela Art" story by San Diego News 10 KGTV television station posted online (I was the source for this story) by cutting & pasting this link:

1) Sources: Belgravia Gallery & AFRICAN ART GALLERY
3) On page 617, in Seventh Edition of Black’s Law Dictionary, “fake” is defined as: “Something that is not what it purports to be.” ISBN 0-314-22864-0
5) March 9, 2004 Associated Press “Exhibit of Mandela’s lithographs opens” article by Richard Pyle
6) Sources: Belgravia Gallery & Shawn Owen AFRICAN ART GALLERY and conversion rate for “£2450” - “£15000” acquire through
7) Under U.S. Copyright Law 101. Definitions, a “work of visual art” is defined as: “ a painting, drawing, print or sculpture, existing in a single copy, in a limited edition of 200 copies or fewer that are signed and consecutively numbered by the author.”
(Scoll down to -Works of Art, Collector's Pieces, Antiques, and Other Cultural Property- 05/06 pdf - 156 KB.)
13) Ralph Mayer’s The HarperCollins Dictionary of Art Terms & Techniques ISBN 0-06-461012-8 (pbk)
15) Seventh Edition of Black’s Law Dictionary ISBN 0-314-22864-0

Touch of Mandela Price List:
Sources: Belgravia Gallery & AFRICAN ART GALLERY

Bars and Key - Limited Edition 3000 - £2450 each £7,350,000
the Left Hand Colour - Limited Edition 500 - £5000 each £2,500,000
The Left Hand Black and White - Limited Edition 500 - Price on Demand
The Right Hand - Limited Edition 1000 - Price on Demand

My Robben Island Series 1
The Lighthouse - Limited Edition 500 -£9000 each £4,500,000
The Harbour - Limited Edition 500 - £5000 each £2,500,000
The Church - Limited Edition 500 - £7000 each £3,500,000
The Cell - Limited Edition 500 - £10,000 each £5,000,000
The Window - Limited Edition 500 - £15000 each £7,500,000
Motivational - Limited Edition 500 -£5000 each £2,500,000

My Robben Island Series 2
The Tower - Limited Edition 350 - £10500 each £3,675,000
The Ward - Limited Edition 350 - £3600 each £1,260,000
The Tennis Court - Limited Edition 350 - £3600 each £1,260,000
The Courtyard - Limited Edition 350 - £8500 each £2,795,000
Mandelas Walk - Limited Edition 350 -£12500 each £4,375,000

The Struggle Series
1) Freedom -
Limited Edition 950 in cream - £2550 each £2,422,500
Limited Edition 950 in white - £2550 each £2,422,500
2) Future -
Limited Edition 950 in cream - £2550 each £2,422,500
Limited Edition 950 in white - £2550 each £2,422,500
3) Imprison -
Limited Edition 950 in cream - £2550 each £2,422,500
Limited Edition 950 in white - £2550 each £2,422,500
4) Motivation -
Limited Edition 950 in cream - £2550 each £2,422,500
Limited Edition 950 in white - £2550 each £2,422,500
5) Struggle -
Limited Edition 950 in cream - £2550 each £2,422,500
Limited Edition 950 in white - £2550 each £2,422,500
6) Unity -
Limited Edition 950 in cream - £2550 each £2,422,500
Limited Edition 950 in white - £2550 each £2,422,500

NOTE: All the {Struggle Series} editions also contain so-called "25 Artist Proofs and 7 Printers Proofs.” Source: Andries Loots, V Gallery - - email:
Currency Converter Results
Wednesday, February 07, 2007

2450 Euro(s) = 3190.39 US Dollar(s)
15000 Euro(s) = 19533 US Dollar(s)

53560000 Euro(s) = 69745832 US Dollar(s)

1 USD = 0.767931 EUR
1 EUR = 1.3022 USD


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