Prison that once held Nelson Mandela to become a museum
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Prison that once held Nelson Mandela to become a museum

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An infamous prison in South Africa has been converted into an interactive museum, highlighting the abuse of human rights in South Africa during colonial rule and the apartheid era.

The 127-year-old prison has housed famous leaders and historical figures such as Nelson Mandela, the wife of Ghandi and Dinizulu kaCetshwayo – former king of the Zulu nation.

The Maritzburg Goal’s oldest cell block will house the new museum, which will look at the activists imprisoned at the site while also looking to boost tourist numbers for the Pietermaritzburg region. Project Gateway – a church-based organisation in South Africa – is leading the project, with funding coming from the Lotto foundation.

The first cellblock has been declared a national monument, while the prison is also declared a heritage site. The Old Prison is also part of “The Freedom Route”, which aims to engage tourists in the rich history of the area and the struggles it has faced.

Cape Town-based specialist design consultancy Formula D interactive has produced the interactive experience developed for the site in Pietermaritzburg in the east of the country, which will maintain the prison’s original features, with the addition of new graphics and multimedia displays.

The museum is scheduled to open to the public at the end of 2014 to coincide with the South African school holidays.

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An infamous prison in South Africa has been converted into an interactive museum, highlighting the abuse of human rights in South Africa during colonial rule and the apartheid era.
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