South African Embassy in D.C. Flooded With Visitors for Mandela

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Mourners in Washington place tributes at near a statue of Nelson Mandela outside the South African Embassy on DECEMBER 6. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

Mourners in Washington place tributes at near a statue of Nelson Mandela outside the South African Embassy on DECEMBER 6. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s death has sparked people in the Washington area to pay tribute to the anti-apartheid icon.

His life will be honored with prayer vigils on Monday and Tuesday nights at the South African Embassy and a memorial service will be held at the National Cathedral at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Soon after the news broke Thursday afternoon, the South African Embassy in D.C. became a gathering place for people to remember and honor Mandela’s life.

The embassy — located at 3051 Massachusetts Ave. NW — has been closed for renovations but construction workers removed fencing surrounding the building and the Mandela statue Friday morning.

Tables have been set up in front of the embassy to hold flowers and gifts from visitors.

The National Museum of African Art in D.C. is inviting visitors to sign a condolence book for Mandela. The embassy also has a condolence book for people to sign.

The museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, says the public may sign a condolence book for Mandela starting Friday. It’ll be on display through next Friday during regular museum visiting hours.

The museum says visitors may also post messages on the museum’s website or its Facebook page.

(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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