Mon, 15 May 2000

Hermes placed at Historical Museum

JAKARTA (JP): The Hermes statue, famous after being reported missing from its place on Harmoni Bridge, was placed in the back yard of the Jakarta Historical Museum on Jl. Taman Fatahillah in West Jakarta on Saturday.

The placement of the statue, which portrays the Greek god Hermes, involved scores of workers after the completion of its restoration a day earlier.

With a hoist hooked to four bamboo poles, the statue was put on a one-meter concrete foundation with its back facing the museum.

"It's placed in that position so visitors who want to take pictures of the statue have a good background," said sculpture Arsono, who was appointed by the city administration to chair the restoration work of the statue and make a replica of it.

The restored 95-year-old statue now has two wings and two snakes on its staff.

Arsono said it was copied from a statue with a similar name, believed to be the Hermes original, in Italy.

The two meter statue, stated in official documents to have been erected in 1905 at Harmoni Bridge near the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta, was reported missing on Aug. 22 last year and has drawn public attention since then.

The city public works agency announced three days later that it had saved the statue which started tilting towards Ciliwung River which passes under Harmoni Bridge.

The administration then decided to make a Hermes replica worth Rp 135 million.

Arsono said that he decided to change the golden color of the statue to bronze.

"We found out later that bronze was its original color," he said.(ind)