Saturday, 14 December 2019

City Design Echoing a Christian Cross Sparks Protest in Surakarta

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Laila Afifa

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  • Design plan of Jalan Jenderal Sudirman revitalization project in Surakarta. Doc. of Public Works and Public Housing Department.

    Design plan of Jalan Jenderal Sudirman revitalization project in Surakarta. Doc. of Public Works and Public Housing Department.

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Surakarta City Sharia Board (DSKS) plans to hold a protest at the Surakarta City Hall on Friday, January 18, aimed to address an architectural design in front of the city hall which DSKS deemed too similar to a Christian cross symbol.

    “Many residents questioned the design similarity of the ornament to that of a Christian cross,” said DSKS Spokesman Endro Sudarsono regarding the topic that also made rounds in the social media realm.

    The revitalization of Jalan Jenderal Sudirman street in front of the city hall was completed late 2018 and will continue to the south side of Bundaran Gladak. The city included a design made out of colored paving material and andesite stone.

    “The aerial view of the design makes it resembles a cross,” said Endro.

    He claims that residents demand an explanation from the local administration regarding the design since it is located at a historic site, which exactly covers the Surakarta City’ ‘kilometer zero’ site and sits on a street named after a major figure from the Muhammadiyah community.

    The project’s person in charge (PPK) Taufan Basuki hopes members of the public not misinterpret the design and urges people to see the design as a whole.

    He maintains that the design’s resemblance to a Christian cross is mainly because it is yet to be complete and that it is inspired by the philosophy of the Keraton Kasunan Surakarta Islamic kingdom.  

    AHMAD RAFIQ