India Mandela Billboard: Morgan Freeman Photo Goes up Instead of Leader

Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 02:55 PM

By David Ogul

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Actor Morgan Freeman has been mistaken for Nelson Mandela on a billboard in India honoring the late South African leader. Freeman played the role of Mandela in the 2009 film “Invictus.”

The billboard, in the city of Coimbatore, is among the memorials to Mandela that have gone  up around the world since the anti-Apartheid hero died Dec. 5. The problem is, it’s graced by a portrait of Freeman, whose smiling face looms large over smaller images of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, and Mahatma Ghandi, Agence France-Presse reported.

“We should be proud that we were part of an era when they lived,” reads the condolence message, AFP said.

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The merchant who paid for the billboard to pay respects to the South African leader said the Freeman picture was a mistake that will soon be fixed.

“We will replace it with the correct picture of Mandela,” said the man, who goes by the name Chandrashekhar.

A number of folks on Twitter also mistakenly used photos of Freeman when tweeting about Mandela when he died earlier this month at the age of 95.

Freeman spoke about Mandela’s death with the New York Daily News.

“Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century,” he said. “Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve — a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind.”

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