J.P. COEN

Indonesia Expat - - TOP 10 -

Where: Water­loo Square, Batavia

Height: 4.6 me­tres

Erected: Septem­ber 4, 1876

De­stroyed: March 7, 1943

Cre­ators: Eu­gene de Plyn, L.J. S. van Kem­pen

Jan Pi­eter­szoon Coen (1587-1629) served two terms as gov­er­nor gen­eral of the

Dutch East Indies (1618-23 and 1627

29). No­to­ri­ous for or­der­ing mas­sacres in pur­suit of trade mo­nop­o­lies, he claimed he was act­ing with God’s bless­ing. In

1869, the Dutch cel­e­brated Batavia’s 250th an­niver­sary by lay­ing the first stone of a mon­u­ment to Coen. The statue was sculpted in the Nether­lands by Eu­gene de Plyn and cast in bronze by L. J. S. van Kem­pen in

1873. It was shipped to Batavia in 1874 and erected two years later out­side the gov­er­nor gen­eral’s palace at Water­loo Square (Water­looplein), which is now La­pan­gan Ban­ten (Bull Field). Coen stood proud, his left hand hold­ing a map of the city, while his right in­dex fin­ger pointed to the ground. The pedestal fea­tured Coen’s motto ‘ Niet

Dis­pereet’ (Never De­spair). Also erected in the park was a statue of a lion atop a mas­sive col­umn. The lion looked so small it was nick­named “the poo­dle”. Both stat­ues were de­stroyed at the or­der of Ja­panese oc­cu­py­ing forces in 1943, sym­bol­is­ing the move­ment to end Dutch rule. In 2011, there was a cam­paign to re­move a Coen statue in his Dutch hometown of Hoorn, but it re­mains stand­ing, al­though a new in­scrip­tion men­tions his re­spon­si­bil­ity for thou­sands of deaths. La­pan­gan Ban­ten now has a statue sym­bol­is­ing West Pa­pua’s free­dom from Dutch colo­nial­ism.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.