Monumen Irian Jaya Pembebasan is a significant monument built to commemorate the liberation of Irian Jaya or New Guinea from the Dutch in 1963. It depicts a statue of a man breaking free from the shackles on his wrists indicating he is finally free. It is located at the center of Lapangan Benteng which is a must visit in Jakarta due to this powerful symbol.
The Netherlands possessed the western parts of New Guinea until the early 1960s but after the New York Agreement in 1962, the Netherlands agreed to hand over the territory to Indonesia. The West Irian Liberation monument also called Monumen Patung Pembebasan Irian Jaya was constructed in August of the year 1963 on the 18th Independence Day of the country.
The bronze statue is 11 meters tall and was constructed over a 20-meter high pedestal and represents a bronze wild-haired muscular man breaking free from chains symbolizing rebellion and independence from colonisation. The inspiration for the construction of the statue was drawn from a speech made by Sukarno, the then president of Indonesia, regarding freeing the West Irian by any means necessary.
The architect of the monument was Edhi Sunarso who had earlier contributed in the design and plan of Selamat Datang monument and the Dirgantara monument. The location of the monument is quite strategic and is the first monument seen by people visiting Jakarta through the Kemayoran Airport.
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