The fire in Parliament has rekindled interest in one of South Africa’s most historic artistic masterpieces, the Keiskamma Tapestry.
The 120-metre tapestry is one of thousands of rare South African artworks that survived the devastating fire.
It lined the corridor walls of the Old Assembly building.
The art piece was entirely handmade by over 100 Xhosa women from Hamburg and neighbouring villages in the Eastern Cape.
It depicts the intricate history of the Eastern Cape Frontier, the atrocities of apartheid and the release of former President Nelson Mandela from jail in 1990.
Art and architecture specialist Kate Crane Briggs says the tapestry is a symbol of the country’s history.
“It charts the story of the Eastern Cape from the first people who lived there to the democratic elections in 1994 and it wrapped around the Assembly, the chamber where during apartheid, the heinous acts at Parliament were passed.”
“It’s particularly poignant because it was created by over 100 mainly women but a few men in a small hamlet almost in the Eastern Cape, called Hamburg, that was really affected by HIV and AIDS and high levels of poverty and this is their first huge artwork,” says Briggs.
The video below is reporting on the fire that flared up in parliament: