Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Mr. President, tear down that statue!
Authorities in Indonesia are considering a petition to tear down a controversial statue depicting President Obama as a 10-year-old boy only a month after the bronze was erected in Jakarta.
The statue of "Little Barry" -- as the president was known when he lived in the capital in the late 1960s -- has inspired 55,000 people to join an Indonesian-language Facebook group named "Take Down the Barack Obama Statue in Taman Menteng Park."
"We've been discussing for the past two weeks what to do with the statue ... whether to take it down, move it elsewhere to retain it. We're finding the best solution," Jakarta parks agency official Dwi Bintarto told AFP.
Many Indonesians are proud that Obama lived in Jakarta from 1967 to 1971 with his American mother, his Indonesia stepfather and his half-sister.
He went by the name "Barry," had a pet monkey and attended the elementary school near the site of the present-day statue.
But critics say Obama has done nothing for Indonesia to deserve the honor.
The statute cost $10,000. The money was donated by eight Indonesia patrons, a TV station and a disaster-relief charity.
"The statue is of Obama as a child, not as the U.S. president," Bintartol told AFP. "His relatives and friends who erected it said it's meant to motivate children to study hard and dream big."
The Associated Press contributed to this report. (SOURCE) Here also