For the citizens of Jakarta, they must be familiar with some of the iconic statues that decorate the streets of Jakarta. Behind the beauty of the statues there is a story that represents each statue that not many people know about. Here is a list of Jakarta’s iconic statues and a short story.

Diponegoro Statue

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Prince Diponegoro Monument is a bronze equestrian statue of the Javanese Prince Diponegoro boldly riding a horse. The statue is located at Merdeka Square, Jakarta, in the northern part of the park. The statue symbolizes Diponegoro’s leadership of his people against the Dutch colonial rulers during the Java War of 1825-1830. The statue was designed by an Italian sculptor Vittorio Di Colbertaldo. It was donated to Indonesia in 1965 by Dr. Mario Pitto, a wealthy Italian businessman who had served as the Italian consul-general to Indonesia in the early 1960s.

Prince Diponegoro born with real name Bendara Raden Mas Mustahar 11 November 1785 – 8 January 1855), also known as Dipanegara, was a Javanese prince who opposed the Dutch colonial rule. The eldest son of the Yogyakartan Sultan Hamengkubuwono III, he played an important role in the Java War between 1825 and 1830. After his defeat and capture, he was exiled to Makassar, where he died. His five-year struggle against the Dutch control of Java has become celebrated by Indonesians throughout the years, acting as a source of inspiration for the fighters in the Indonesia National Revolution and nationalism in modern-day Indonesia among others. He is a national hero in Indonesia.

Arjuna Wijaya Statue

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The Arjuna Wijaya Statue or also called the Arjuna Wiwaha Statue or the Asta Brata Statue is a monument in the form of a horse-drawn carriage statue with a fountain made of copper located at the junction of Jalan MH Thamrin and Jalan Medan Merdeka. The sculpture designer of Arjuna Wijaya is an Indonesian sculptor maestro from Tabanan, Bali, Nyoman Nuarta. This statue was built around 1987, after the state visit of Indonesian President Soeharto from Turkey. The process of making the Arjuna Wijaya Statue was done by around 40 artists and the work was carried out in Bandung, West Java.

The statue of Arjuna Wijaya depicts a scene in the classic Mahabharata story, where two figures from the Pandawa camp, namely Arjuna holding an arrow and Batara Kresna who is a sais are riding a war chariot with an eagle head drawn by eight horses symbolizing the eight philosophies of leadership “Asta Brata “. The two of them are depicted as being in a battle situation against the Duke of Karna who comes from the Kaurava stronghold.

 Jenderal Sudirman Statue

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The Jenderal Sudirman Statue is one of the statues located in Jakarta, precisely in the Dukuh Atas area, in front of the BNI Building, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman. This statue has a total height of 12 meters and consists of: the height of the statue is 6.5 meters and the voetstuk or support is 5.5 meters. This statue is made of bronze weighing 4 tons with a budget of 3.5 billion Rupiah and was done by an artist and art lecturer at the Bandung Institute of Technology, Sunario. The figure of General Sudirman is depicted as standing firmly in respect and his head looking up slightly to give a dynamic impression. Because it stands in the middle of an area full of various activities, the statue is deliberately designed to be simple and doesn’t require much detail.

Pemuda Membangun Statue

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Pemuda Membangun statue is a 24.9 meter Soviet-style dark-grey terrazzo statue which stands on a roundabout at the south end of Jendral Sudirman street. The roundabout marks the entrance to the Kebayoran Baru subdistrict in South Jakarta. The statue was erected to inspire people to participate in the nation’s building, especially the youths of the new nation. The name Pemuda Membangun (“Youth Advancement”) was chosen to inspire young people. The design of the statue shows a near naked young man shouting while holding a plate containing a flame above his head, his sinews and muscles strain at full effort. The flaming plate symbolizes youth taking forth light into the future.

The statue was presented by Pertamina for the goverment of Jakarta to celebrate the 445th anniversary of Jakarta in 1971, at that time headed by Ibnu Sutowo. The monument was designed by a team of sculptors known as Biro Insinyur Seniman Arsitektur (The Bureau of Engineer Artists Architecture) led by Imam Supardi. Munir Pamuncak was responsible for the construction. Construction of the monument started in July 1971. The construction was scheduled to be finished on October 28, 1971, in time for the celebration of the Youth Pledge Day. However completion was delayed until March 1972.

Selamat Datang Statue

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During the 1960s, President Sukarno ordered several constructions and city beautification projects in preparation for the Asian Games IV. These activities included the construction of the Ikada Sport Complex (in what is now Gelora Bung Karno Sport Complex) and several statues, including the Selamat Datang Monument, designated as Tugu Selamat Datang.

The design of the statue was sketched by Henk Ngantung, at that time the vice governor of Jakarta. The sculpting of the statue was done by sculptor Edhi Sunarso.Trubus, a close advisor to Sukarno on fine arts matters, were the coordinator of the project. The statue depicts two bronze statues of a man and a woman, waving in a welcoming gesture. The woman holds a Flower bouquet in her left hand. The design evokes similarity with the style of Soviet sculptor Vera Mukhina and was heavy with socialist realism.

The two figures of the Welcome Monument are five metres from head to toe, or seven metres from the tip of the raised arm to toe. The two figures stand atop a pedestal. In total, the monument is about thirty meters above the ground. The Selamat Datang Monument symbolizes the openness of the Indonesian nation to visitors to the Asian Games IV. The construction of the statue was started on August 17, 1961. During the construction of the statue, Edhi Sunarso was visited by Sukarno, US Ambassador to Indonesia Howard P. Jones, and other ministers in his studio

The Heroes Monument (Tugu Tani Statue)

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The Heroes Monument (Indonesian Patung Pahlawan), popularly known as Tugu Tani is a bronze statue and important landmark located in Jakarta, Indonesia. The monument celebrates the heroes of the struggles of the Indonesian nation symbolized by a peasant youth wearing a caping with a rifle on his shoulder, a mother behind him offering him a dish of rice. The caping is a traditional farmer’s hat in Indonesia, thus the statue is also referred as the Farmer’s Monument (Patung Pak Tani or Tugu Tani).

The statue was built in the Soviet Union and brought to Indonesia by ship. It was inaugurated in 1963. The statue sits at the junction of Menteng and Prapatan Street, which had been an important place during the days of the August 1945 revolution. The statue has been controversial since armed peasants are sometimes identified with communism.

Dirgantara/Pancoran Statue 

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Dirgantara Monument, also known as Gatot Kaca Monument after the Javanese wayang figure, is a monument located in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is also known Tugu Pancoran, after tugu a word for statue and pedestal, and the South Jakarta subdistrict of Pancoran, where it is located. The monument was commissioned by President Sukarno in 1964 as a tribute to the Indonesian Air Force and early Indonesian aviators who flew against the Dutch to achieve independence.

The Dirgantara Monument is situated at the junction of Jalan Gatot Subroto and Jalan M.T. Haryono and looks along Jalan Dr. Supomo into the suburb of Tebet. Tebet itself was developed from the early 1960s to house people displaced by the construction of the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex at Senayan.

The monument stands on top of a 27-meter high arched socle.The statue on top of the socle is an 11-meter bronze sculpture of a man and weighs 11 tons. It depicts the manusia angkasa, “space man”, symbolizing the conquest of space by the nation.

West Irian Liberation Monument (Monumen Pembebasan Irian Barat)

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West Irian Liberation Monument (Indonesian: Monumen Pembebasan Irian Barat) is a postwar modernist monument located in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is located in the center of Lapangan Banteng (formerly Waterloo Square) in Sawah Besar, Central Jakarta. Sukarno, then President of Indonesia, commissioned the monument in 1963 following the West New Guinea dispute in which Indonesia received the territory of Western New Guinea from the Netherlands.

On top of the monument, visible as a 36-meter high pedestal stands a bronze, bare-chested wild-haired man breaking free from his shackles with his arms and legs widely spread, the former facing towards the sky. The face holds a loud, screaming expression, symbolizing rebellion and independence.