Jakarta’s [public monuments] are examples of the Communist-influenced monuments sprinkled throughout this city, part of the legacy of Indonesia’s founding president, Sukarno, who served from 1945 to 1967 and led the country’s move for independence.
Sukarno, a former architect who put in place Socialist policies, was attracted to Soviet-style monuments. His vision of the Indonesian capital in the 1950s and 1960s included wide boulevards and huge statues to the greatness of the new nation.
“He had this obsession with ‘the great city,’ ” said Bambang Eryudhawan, an architect based here in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital. Mr. Bambang noted that Sukarno was inspired by his travels around the world, where he saw nationalistic architecture throughout India, China, Eastern and Western Europe, and the United States.
“He wanted to lift the spirit of the nation,” he said.
Jakarta’s Communist-style monuments stand out, especially in a city with a presidential palace that is an example of Dutch colonial architecture, and whose buildings include crumbling Dutch- and Chinese-style structures near high-rise office towers, with an unregulated sprawl of urban slums.