A public outcry has erupted after a historic, award-winning home in the leafy Jakarta suburb of Menteng was partially torn down in violation of the law.
The Presidential Palace on Wednesday was also forced to deny reports that the home had been purchased by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s son, Edhie “Ibas” Baskoro, for Rp 16 billion ($1.7 million).
Speaking on Wednesday, Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo urged the new owners to return the “pretty home” on the corner of Jalan Cik Dik Tiro and Jalan Ki Mangunsarkoro to its original condition.
The single-storey, 350-square-meter Dutch-style white home, noticeable for its immaculate gardens, dates back to 1932 and was in theory protected by heritage building laws. Often used as a backdrop for films and soap operas, the home has been gutted.
Reports say the home was in the process of being torn down as part of major renovation work when the city’s Construction Supervision and Regulation Agency halted the project eight months ago.
The shell is now sitting idle.
It remains unclear who owns the home but a number of media outlets have linked ownership to Ibas, who married in a lavish ceremony recently.
Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha, however, denied the reports on Wednesday, telling Republica.com that Ibas was still living at his parent’s house in Cikeas.