Local name: Tugu Selamat Datang
Where: Hotel Indonesia roundabout, Central Jakarta
Height: 30 metres (including 22m pedestal) Erected: 1962
Creator: Edhi Sunarso
In 1959, president Sukarno commissioned a 27-year-old sculptor from Yogyakarta, Edhi Sunarso, to make a nine-metre-high bronze statue to welcome foreign athletes to the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta. The city’s then-deputy governor Henk Ngantung had come up with the concept of a teenage boy and girl standing atop two pillars. Their stance was based on Sukarno’s gesture of welcome with his arms outstretched. Edhi, who had learned to draw and sculpt while a prisoner of the Dutch, was reluctant to take the job, having never used bronze, let alone attempted such a large statue. Sukarno responded it would be shameful if the project were given to a foreign sculptor. Edhi’s first two models were rejected. His third attempt was approved. Edhi then studied a book on metal casting, sought advice from a man who made statues for churches, and visited a building site to learn about using steel, wire braces and concrete. He made a nine-metre statue from steel and gypsum, but it was deemed too large for the pedestal. Edhi then made a final version, measuring seven metres from fingertip to toe. It was cast with 50 kilograms of bronze, one centimetre thick. The statue was erected at the Hotel Indonesia roundabout and faces northward to greet people coming from the old Kemayoran Airport. You’ll have plenty of time to admire the monument’s fountain, when stuck at the roundabout during heavy rainfall.