| 14 January 2021
Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Visited Sarinah to Inspect the Progress of the Building’s Renovation

Ministry of SOEs Erick Thohir visited Sarinah to see first-hand the progress of the Sarinah Building renovation as one of the primary business transformation undertakings.

Fetty Kwartati, President Director of PT Sarinah (Persero), Agung Budi Waskito, President Director of PT Wijaya Karya (Persero) the contractor, and Asikin Hasan, Curator of the National Gallery of Indonesia who accompanied Minister Erick Thohir explained that the work of renovating is in progress, on track and on schedule amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the health authority directives, construction works can operate on a full-scale basis with strict adherence to COVID-19 health protocols.

Fetty explained that Sarinah as one of the nation’s heritage buildings is also the home of artistic masterpiece sculpture aged over 50 years. This relief depicts the economic activities of common people during that era who relied on agricultural, plantation, fishery and handicraft products. As the proclaimer of the nation’s independence, and the first president of Indonesia, Soekarno was also a passionate artist and initiated the creation of this art piece. The spirit behind his idea and this creation was clear that Indonesia was ready to welcome modernization and build its people’s economy and livelihood.

According to Asikin, who is also a member of the Cultural Heritage Expert Team (TACB), this statue is epic and gigantic. It was built using a modern single-panel casting technology. Likewise, when Sarinah was built it was meant to echo strong messages that the nation was ready to modernize. As the first high rise department store in its time, Indonesia had for the first time an icon to look up to. A clear focus was to house the people’s power of creation. The so-called people’s economy then is now known as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Some parts of Sarinah building caught fire in the early ’80s, and in the course of rehabilitation, some areas were widened to make larger rooms for visitors’ entrance and corridor. The relief which was spared from the fire had to be removed and placed in the storage located on the ground floor.

Minister, Erick who admired this masterpiece, stated that a great nation is a nation that appreciates its history. The Minister asked that this art piece should be restored and then exhibited for visitors to admire when Sarinah renovation is complete.

This relief, according to some historians and art curators, was made by a group of sculpture and painters from Yogyakarta during the construction period of (1962-1966), featuring peddlers and merchants symbolizing the struggle of the small people to make a living back then.

The architect or designer of this statue is still being traced by the Cultural Heritage Expert Team (TACB), as well as the blueprints needed for the restoration work to begin.

Periodically, Sarinah informs the public in the progress of the restoration and the business transformation.

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