WEL­COME MON­U­MENT

Indonesia Expat - - TOP 10 -

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.

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