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Lonely Planet review for Monas
Ingloriously dubbed ‘Sukarno’s final erection’, this 132m-high national monument, towering over Merdeka Sq, is both Jakarta’s principal landmark and the most famous architectural extravagance of the former president. Begun in 1961, this typically masculine column was not completed until 1975, when it was officially opened by Suharto. The monument is constructed from Italian marble, and is topped with a sculpted flame, gilded with 35kg of gold leaf.