Sausan Atika, Jakarta – A replica of Greek god Hermes located on Harmoni bridge in Central Jakarta is back to being nude after having the lower part of its body covered up by a piece of cloth.
The statue, a replica of one on display at the Jakarta History Museum in West Jakarta, was spotted sporting the garment on Monday. But by Wednesday, it was back to being nude.
"I don't know who took the piece of cloth," said Andi, a street vendor who operates a stall only a few meters away from the statue.
He added that he never really paid attention to the 2-meter figure and never noticed whether it was covered or not.
"Because the statue is small, many people might not be aware if something changes," he said, suggesting that whoever had covered the statue had probably done it as a joke.
Photos of the covered Hermes circulated on Monday, raising eyebrows as to whether it was part of an orchestrated move by the city administration to cover up naked statues in the capital city.
But Jakarta Tourism and Culture Agency cultural heritage division head Iyan Iskandar quickly dismissed the concerns, saying that he had received no order from the city administration to cover up any statues in public spaces.
However, he pointed out that the Hermes statue's strategic location, between Jl. Juanda and Jl. Veteran, might encourage passersby to try and touch it.
Concerns were raised following the controversy over mermaid statues in Putri Duyung resort in Ancol Dreamland Park, North Jakarta. City-owned property developer PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol, the park's operator, had decided to cover up two mermaid statues with a gold kemben (wrap) to beautify them and adjust them to "Eastern norms".