Germany-based cleaning equipment and technology provider PT Kärcher has begun cleaning the 132-meter high National Monument (Monas) in Central Jakarta, using two high-tech hot water jet washers.
Kärcher's senior manager for marketing and business development, Fransisca Natalia, said that the company had assigned 17 local workers to clean the eight-meter-high bowl-like part of the monument, known locally as the cawan, and its 2,025-square-meter floor since Tuesday.
Starting on Thursday, the company would assign three German staff to clean the monument's 117-meter obelisk, she said.
"We are using two HDS 6/14 C high-tech hot water jet washing machines to clean Monas," Fransisca said on Wednesday.
She said that each of the machines could spray hot water with a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius and 20 bars of water pressure at a flow rate of 900 liters per hour.
"We [will use] around 20,000 liters of hot water a day to wash Monas," she said.
However, the monument's bronze flame structure, which is coated with 35 kilograms of gold foil, would not be washed because it is still clean, said Fransisca.
"The bronze flame structure, which is on the top, is still clean because rain water has cleaned it up," said Fransisca.
"The dirtiest part of the tower is the obelisk," she added.
The cleanup, which will be undertaken until May 18, marks the second time that Monas has been cleaned since its inauguration in 1975. The monument, which broke ground in 1961, was first cleaned in 1992.
"This is the second time for Kärcher to clean up Monas. The company first cleaned up the tower in 1992," Monas management unit head Rini Hariyani told The Jakarta Post.
The German company's appointment sparked a strong protest from similar local companies recently. They say such work can be done by local companies.
However, the city administration said the German company was not being paid to do the cleaning work, explaining that it was done by Kärcher as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme in Indonesia.