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Monday, December 14, 2009

‘Barry’ Obama comes home to Menteng

/ On : 2:10 AM/ Thank you for visiting my simple blog here. If you wanted to discuss or have the question around this article, please comment bellow.

Jakarta (The Jakarta Post)- The city welcomed Thursday a new icon to grace its corners.
This time, however, it is not one of the heroes from the struggle against colonialism.
It is a bronze statue of a smiling 10-year old Barack Hussein Obama in shirt and shorts, with a butter-
fly perched on his outstretched hand.
The statue, along with its pedestal, stands two meters tall. One of its sides is adorned with an adapted quote by former U.S. first lady Eleanor Roosevelt: “The future belongs to those who believe in the power of their dreams.”
“This statue is designed to inspire Indonesia’s children, to tell them that they can be anyone they want to be,” Ron Mullers, chairman of the Jakarta-based Friends of Obama Foundation, which initiated and raised the money for the statue, said.
Those who contributed money for the statue’s construction included businesswoman Mien R Uno, and  Prananda Surya Paloh, son of media mogul Surya Paloh.
After his mother married Indonesian citizen Lolo Soetoro in 1965, U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama spent four years of his childhood in Jakarta from 1967. The family lived in Menteng and Obama attended a local primary school, where he was popularly known as “Barry”.
“I think what’s really nice about it is that it reminds us that the man who’s now the U.S. President grew up here, eating bakso and nasi goreng, speaking bahasa and learning about the world,” Mullers said.
The project ran for a year.
Graphic artist Leo Angelo who designed the Rp 100 million (US$10,600) statue along with sculptor Edi Chaniago, hopes the statue, aside from inspiring him to pursue higher education, will inspire the likes of street children.
“I hope [children], when disheartened, come here, see this statue, and have [their] spirits lifted,” Leo said. (dis)


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