JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesian First President Soekarno continues to affirm his iconic status within Indonesia and overseas, 75 years after he declared the country’s independence from the Dutch in 1945.
Algeria is the latest country to pay tribute to Indonesia’s founding father as the country unveiled a statue to Soekarno in its capital Algiers. Indonesian Parliament head Puan Maharani virtually unveiled the edifice on Saturday, July 18.
“I hope the Soekarno Monument will remind us of the close ties between [Indonesia and Algeria,] as well as other countries in the region,” said Puan, a granddaughter of Soekarno, in a press statement to Kompas.com.
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“Soekarno has supported Algeria’s fight to break away [from the French], until the North African country eventually gained its independence in 1962. One of his initiatives included inviting Algerian representatives to the Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung in 1955.”
Puan added that her grandfather’s reputation remains high in Algeria because of his support for the country’s independence. She thanked the Algerian government for installing the monument and hoped that the countries’ shared past will help them go forward to a better future.
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Puan also thanked West Java governor Ridwan Kamil for designing the contemporary statue and Indonesian sculptor Dolorosa Sinaga for sculpting the work. A number of Indonesian companies like PT Wika and state oil and gas company Pertamina sponsored the artwork.
“The Soekarno statue is made of separate slabs of metal that, if arranged in a three-dimensional manner, will form a striking portrait [of the President],” Puan said in the statement. “The technique is a metaphor for Indonesia’s state motto Unity in Diversity.”
The Soekarno Monument comprised of a bust that stands in the center of a park. Work on the statue started on February 16, 2020.
(Writer: Haryanti Puspa Sari | Editor: Jessi Carina)
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