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First painted portrait of Malala Yousafzai unveiled in Jonathan Yeo portraits display
A gallery worker poses with a painted portrait of Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Pakistani advocate for girls education who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012, by Jonathan Yeo at the National Portrait Gallery in central London on September 10, 2013. the portrait will be unveiled to the public alongside a selection of other works by the artist as part of the "Jonathan Yeo Portraits" exhibition, running from September 11, 2013 to January 5, 2014. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL.
LONDON (AFP).- The first painted portrait of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' education, goes on show at the National Portrait Gallery in London on Wednesday.

The one-metre height picture by Jonathan Yeo, one of Britain's leading portrait painters, shows the 16-year-old doing her homework.

It will be on display until January, when it will be sold to raise money for Malala's campaign for the right to girls to go to school, the gallery said.

Yeo painted Malala in Britain where she has settled since the attack in her home town in Swat in October, and he said it had been a "privilege".

"Given how much she has already been through and all that she represents to the world, it took a while to adjust to the fact that she is still a very fragile teenager," he said.

"Hopefully the painting reflects the slight paradox of representing someone with enormous power and wisdom yet vulnerability and youth at the same time."

Malala Yousafzai says: ‘I am honoured that the National Portrait Gallery should wish to hang my picture and touched that Jonathan asked to paint me. I think that he has really captured me in the image. Jonathan has been extremely kind in donating the portrait to The Malala Fund and it is wonderful to know that many children will ultimately be able to benefit from the money raised from its sale.’

Jonathan Yeo Portraits, the National Portrait Gallery’s first display dedicated to the artist’s work, will include innovative portraits – all produced from life – of some of today’s leading cultural, media and political figures, many of whom sat for portraits for the first time with Yeo. The display will present an overview of the artist’s work to date, beginning with the drawings he made of the party leaders on the 2001 general election campaign trail, and including private studies of his family and portraits of well known figures such as media mogul Rupert Murdoch, model Erin O’Connor, artist Grayson Perry and actress Sienna Miller.

© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

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