March 24, 2017
(AFP) - From galloping horses to Indonesia's hero Husni Thamrin and a flame atop a tall tower, statues and monuments across the huge Indonesian capital Jakarta light up at night, adding some sparkle to the city.
Statues and monuments can be found across Jakarta, rare public art in a megacity of 10 million better known for drab tower blocks, chaotic slums and monster traffic jams.
Most are illuminated at night, and the lights go on automatically as darkness falls.
City officials work hard to keep the sites clean and in good shape, a difficult task as many of them sit at busy traffic intersections with lines of pollution-belching cars and buses streaming past.
The 22 statues in the city, most put up in the 1960s to 80s, are cleaned with water once a month, and sometimes soap if workers need to wipe off graffiti, said Nuraida Levianti, a Jakarta government official who deals with maintaining with sites.
One of the city's most famous statues is also one of the most challenging to keep clean.
The Dirgantara statue in south Jakarta, erected in the 1960s during the presidency of Sukarno, consists of a figure pointing to the sky on a tall, curving tower that juts out over a road.
"In order to clean the statue, one needs to climb it very carefully and understand how to clean it -- otherwise you will fall off," Levianti said.
Perhaps the best-known monument in the capital is the National Monument, a 130-metre (425-foot) tower topped with a gold model of a flame that looms over downtown Jakarta and commemorates Indonesia's struggle for independence from Dutch colonial rule.