Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners

Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners
Widodo has pledged to bring reform to Indonesia

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has pleaded to Indonesia to stop the execution of prisoners on death row for drug crimes. AFP PHOTO

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person
The pope wrote that the principle of legitimate personal defense isn’t adequate justification to execute someone. Photograph: Zuma/Rex

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison   (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, July 16, 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)
Woman who spent 23 years on US death row cleared (Photo: dpa)


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Indonesia president on first Diamond Jubilee state visit

BBC News, 31 October 2012

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was welcomed to
the UK by the Queen and political figures

Related Stories 

Indonesia's president has arrived in the UK to become the first world leader on a state visit to Britain in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, 59, and his wife Ani Bambang Yudhoyono were greeted by a ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade.

They will spend three days in the UK.

There are usually one or two state visits per year, with the next one seeing the Amir of Kuwait arrive in the country on 27 November.

President Yudhoyono and his wife joined the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for a state carriage procession along the Mall to Buckingham Palace.

Mr Yudhoyono will also attend a private lunch at Buckingham Palace, where he and his wife will stay during their visit.

The couple will visit Westminster Abbey, where the president will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, and are due to visit the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House.

The president will also meet Prime Minister David Cameron, and later Labour leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will visit the palace to see him.

The Queen will host a state banquet in honour of her guests on Thursday.

Medal award

The president will meet International Development Secretary Justine Greening before ending his visit on Friday with a speech at the Indonesia-UK Business Forum.

BBC Indonesia correspondent Karishma Vaswani says Indonesians are seeing this as a very important visit.

Mr Yudhoyono is expected to receive a medal of honour from the Queen, as a recognition of the closer ties between the two countries.

The UK is the second largest investor in Indonesia and is keen to do more business there. When Mr Cameron visited Indonesia earlier this year, he said it was time to sell more British defence equipment to an important democracy.

But human rights groups say the UK is moving too quickly and that Indonesia has ignored the plight of its religious minorities, our correspondent added.

Although this is the first full state visit this year, the Queen did host monarchs from 26 countries for a Diamond Jubilee lunch at Windsor Castle in June.

She also hosted a lunch for Commonwealth leaders at Marlborough House on Pall Mall. She was joined by more than 70 guests including representatives of all 54 Commonwealth countries.

Related Article:

'Gangnam Style' Star Psy to Ride Into Jakarta

Jakarta Globe, Camelia Pasandaran, October 31, 2012

Korean rapper Psy will hold a Jakarta concert on Nov. 25, the concert
promoter announced on Wednesday. (AFP Photo)
Related articles

South Korean rapper Psy will gallop into Jakarta for a one-night concert next month, concert organizer Rajawali Indonesia announced on Wednesday.

The chubby singer, riding a wave of popularity from his infectious hit “Gangnam Style,” will perform at an undisclosed venue on Nov. 25, said Riska Laya, public relations manager for Rajawali Indonesia.

“We cannot make the venue public yet because there are still a number of documents to process,” she said.

Psy’s viral hit “Gangnam Style” inspired a record-breaking mass dance in Makassar’s Losari Beach earlier this month as some 12,000 Indonesian fans trotted along to the rapper’s iconic horse-riding dance.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Borobodur Temple to Get Solar-Powered Lighting

Jakarta Globe, October 15, 2012

Related articles

Greenpeace has started installing a solar-powered lighting system that will illuminate the ancient temple of Borobodur on the outskirts of Yogyakarta.

The lighting system is scheduled to start working on Oct. 28, the group said in a press release on Sunday.

The organization said that the project was part of a nationwide campaign, called the “Climate Rescue Station,” to promote awareness about renewable energy to people in Indonesia.

The project also aims to urge the government to implement a massive uptake of renewable energy sources and to decrease dependence on dirty fossil fuels like coal.

“Greenpeace intends to light up Borobodur to enlighten Indonesians about our vision of a clean and safer energy future. We want to remind Indonesians, particularly the government, that we can work together for a better future with renewable energy,” said Arif Fiyanto, climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

He said the government must make the switch to renewable energy to protect communities from the health and environmental hazards of coal pollution.

“We are calling on all Indonesians to be part of the solution and join the movement for renewable energy by visiting the Climate Rescue Station at Borobodur, or by signing up at our website,” Arif added.

Borobudur, the world’s biggest Buddhist monument, was built in the ninth century and has been Indonesia’s leading tourist attraction.

“Today, it is a symbol for enlightenment not only for Indonesians but for people around the world,” the group said. “Greenpeace is providing solar-powered lighting around the temple complex to show that renewable energy is not only possible but a viable alternative to meet Indonesia’s energy needs.”

Marsis Sutopo, head of Borobudur Heritage Conservation, voiced his appreciation to Greenpeace’s initiative.

“Our hope is that people grow increasingly aware that solar power is needed as an energy source, thus reducing our dependence on energy from fossil fuels,” he said.

Many experts have agreed that Indonesia’s position on the equator allows it to use the sun’s abundant supply of heat as an energy source throughout the year. But it’s something the country has not taken advantage of.

According to Greenpeace, the country’s abundant geothermal potential accounts for roughly 40 percent of the world’s total resource.

Latest government data shows that renewable energy contributes to less than 5 percent to the country’s power-generating capacity, according to the group.

Greenpeace said it is calling on the government of Indonesia to fast-track the development of renewable energy in the country by setting ambitious and binding targets for renewable energy, guaranteeing priority access to the grid for renewable power generators, providing defined and stable returns for renewable energy investors, and phasing out all subsidies for fossil fuels.

The group would also like fossil fuel companies to shoulder the social and environmental burden caused by their facilities.

“Renewable energy is a key building block for a fair and equitable green economy,” Arif said. “We call on Indonesians to sign up and join our renewable-energy campaign and be part of the movement that will steer our country to a better future.”

Mass 'Gangnam Style' Performance Breaks Indonesian Records

Jakarta Globe, October 15, 2012

Related articles

Makassar’s Losari Beach was swarmed by galloping dancers on Sunday as 12,000 “Gangnam Style” fans rode their way into Indonesian record books with a massive performance of South Korean rapper Psy’s infectious breakout hit.

The dance was the largest group performance completed in Indonesia, event organizers told the Antara News Agency.

“The number of participants in this ‘Gangnam Style’ dance has broken the Indonesian record as [a dance] with highest number of participants,” event organizer Ilham Abdi said on Sunday.

The song, which went viral before breaking into airwaves across the globe, is widely popular in Makassar, said Arini, one of the dancers.

“We’re very enthusiastic about following ‘Gangnam Style,’” Arini said. “It is not only happening in Jakarta. More people like it in Makassar. We love ‘Gangnam Style.’”

The dance — which mimics riding an invisible horse — became popular in South Sulawesi after governor candidates Ilham Arief Sirajuddin and Aziz Qahhar Mudzakkar performed the dance.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bali bombings remembered ten years on

Deutsche Welle, 12 October 2012

Bali has marked the 10 year anniversary of the 2002 nightclub bombings with an emotional ceremony. Some 202 people, including 88 Australians, were killed in the attack.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, pictured on the left above, joined survivors and relatives of the dead who gathered on the Indonesian island on Friday to remember the victims of twin blasts.

"This is a day of contesting emotions from anger and unamended loss to forgiveness and reconciliation with a bitter past," Julia Gillard said. "Perhaps there is a grim reassurance in knowing that the terrorists did not achieve what they set out to do," she added. 

The Padi club was a target of the
blast ten years ago
Addressing mourners at the emotional ceremony, Indonesian embassy charge d'affaires Wiwiek Setyawati Firman said all Indonesians felt anger "as to why this happened and why this happened in Bali".

"Ten years on the pain of the loss still remains and we will remember them forever," she said.

Also in attendance were the Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, on the right in the picture above, and John Howard, the Australian prime minister at the time of the attack. Separate ceremonies were held across Australia in Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, the Gold Coast, and the capital, Canberra.

On October 12, 2002, suicide bombers targetted the island's Kuta party strip, killing 202 people. Among the dead were 164 foreigners from 21 nations. For Australia, the Bali bombs were the worst peacetime attack on its citizens.

The al Qaeda-linked South-East Asian terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah has been blamed for the atrocity. In 2003, 23 people were handed sentences ranging from five years to death for their role in the bombings. Three were executed in 2008.

Security was tight in Bali in the days leading up to the anniversary amid concerns of a possible terrorist attack. Police warned Wednesday that they had received "credible information" that the ceremony may be targeted.

ccp/av (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

With Sultan's Swearing In, SBY Puts Yogyakarta-Jakarta Tensions to Rest

Jakarta Globe, Arientha Primanita,  October 10, 2012

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, right, inaugurates Sri Sultan
 Hamengkubuwono X, left, as the governor of Yogyakarta, in a ceremony at
 the Yogyakarta Presidential Palace on Wednesday. (Antara Photo/
 Presidential Office/Abror Rizki)
Related articles

At a ceremony officially swearing in the governor and deputy governor of Yogyakarta, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Wednesday recognized the special status of the region, praising its “superior and advanced” achievements and affirming the province’s right to a distinctive system of local governance.

“Law Number 13 of 2012 is a form of recognition and at the same time of respect by the state for regional authorities that have specific and special characteristics. The state recognizes the special nature of Yogyakarta as a regional government that is different from those in other provinces,” Yudhoyono said.

He was speaking at a ceremony in Yogyakarta to swear in Sultan Hamengkubuwono X as governor and Prince Paku Alam IX as his deputy for the 2012-17 period. It was the first time the governor and deputy governor had ever been sworn in by a president.

The bill addressing the special territory of Yogyakarta was passed by the House of Representatives on Aug. 30 and signed into law by the president on Aug. 31, putting to a close years of disagreement between locals and the central government.

Jakarta had pushed for the leadership of the special territory, which holds the rank of a full province, to be elected as in other regions in Indonesia. But the people of Yogyakarta argued that under a special territory status granted to Yogyakarta by founding President Sukarno in recognition of the city’s contribution to Indonesia's struggle for independence in the 1940s, the reigning sultan of Yogyakarta and the prince of Paku Alam were to automatically become governor and deputy governor.

In his speech on Wednesday, Yudhoyono said the special status accorded to Yogyakarta could not be separated from the city-province’s role in the nation’s push for independence from the Dutch.

“History records that the special status accorded to Yogyakarta is part of the process of the establishment of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia,” he said, referring to an official announcement issued on Sept. 5, 1945, by then-Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX and Prince Paku Alam VIII, which stated that the sultanate of Yogyakarta was an integral part of the young republic.

The president said Law No. 13 granted special authority for Yogyakarta to have its own method for filling the governor and deputy governor posts, as well as in deciding matters of local governance, cultural development, land and zoning affairs, and special funding.

Yudhoyono also recognized Yogyakarta’s varied accomplishments.

“This province is superior and advanced in the fields of education, culture and tourism. The special territory of Yogyakarta has also recorded achievements in the creative industries, in its high life expectancy average and an education sector that is a main component of the human development index here,” Yudhoyono said.

The sultan, who became head of the Royal House following the death of his father, Hamengkubuwono IX, in 1989, automatically became governor after acting Governor Paku Alam VIII passed away in 1998.

The current deputy governor, Paku Alam IX, assumed his post in 2003.

The sultan’s hereditary claim to the governorship caused strains with the central government for years. At the peak of the tensions, Yogyakarta residents staged rallies demanding that the region break away from Indonesia. Given the strong resistance, the central government eventually softened its stance.

Analysts have praised the 66-year-old sultan as an able governor, with the province of more than 3.5 million people seeing rising economic prosperity since he took office in 1998. Under his rule, Yogyakarta remains one of Indonesia’s wealthiest and most religiously tolerant provinces.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Indian hotels struggle to balance growth with sustainability

Deutsche Welle, 8 october 2012

The booming hotel industry of India is grappling with the challenges of sustainability. It is no more a choice but a necessity. However, limited resources and rising costs can be opportunities in disguise.

In the next five years, the number of hotel rooms in India is going to increase by a whopping 143 per cent to over 150,000, according to a study by HVS hospitality consultancy. But the Indian hotel industry is not yet aware of the depleting ground water levels, energy costs and solid waste that they will create along the way, industry experts say.

In developed countries, sustainable tourism is at the center stage of discussions. So it's no wonder that the United Nations World Tourism Organization chose sustainability as its main agenda for 2012.

"Every action counts. This year, one billion international tourists will travel to foreign destinations," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a recent speech at the United Nations World Tourism Day in Gran Canaria, Spain. "Imagine what one act multiplied by one billion can do."

Changing the attitudes of hoteliers

Around 350 million tourists - international and domestic - feed India's growing tourism industry, tourism ministry figures state. The industry itself accounted for around six percent of total gross domestic product at US $32.7 billion in 2011. The numbers explain why hospitality big-wigs around the globe are betting big on this sector. 

Fresh towels daily? No thank you,
green hotels say
With many international chains now foraying into the Indian market, global green practices are also getting imported. However, the implementation of such measures in the Indian scenario is a challenge.

"Everyone wants to join the bandwagon of sustainable tourism," HVS chairman Manav Thadani said. "A lot of hotels have started to call themselves green, but they are not able to measure it yet."

India's ITC hotel chain was accorded the leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) award for its "world-class green practices." LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed in a sustainable way. However, this award is not representative of the larger picture of India's hospitality industry.

A study by Germany's International Hotel Association (IHA) revealed that Germans have a large willingness to act in an environmentally conscious manner in their daily lives. IHA has over 1,400 hotels as its members. The survey found that energy efficiency was of prime importance in the investment decisions of around 66 per cent of hotels in Germany. India, however, has not been able to make much headway in this direction.

"Hotels in India do not want to inconvenience their guests by imposing eco-friendly instructions," Thadani said. "Secondly, they think of sustainability as an additional financial investment. This mind set has to change."

Creating a win-win situation 

There is money to be made by going
Contrary to popular perception that "going green" is an expensive affair, several hotel chains are reaping its benefits. The Hilton group, for example, saved $147 million worldwide by reducing its energy and water consumption by an average of 15 percent in 2011.

"Hotels can increase their bottom lines by one to two percent simply by using sustainable practices," Thadani said. He added that a leading luxury hotel chain in India, which did not wish to be named, saved over $1 million by using such measures last year.

However, Indian hotel chains have for starters, warmed up to the sustainability agenda in the marketing rather than business sense. In this, the German hotel industry is in stark contrast. According to the IHA survey, 66 percent of the hotels in Germany do not use their environmental orientation for marketing.

While in India, sustainability is not the most highly rated criteria for booking hotels among consumers, German travelers think otherwise. Earth Guest Research by Accor revealed that 46 percent of German respondents based their hotel selection on sustainable development. About 60 percent of these are even willing to pay a higher price for climate friendly services.

Ruchika Chitravanshi and Idrees Lone are currently participating in a two-month fellowship for Indian journalists at Deutsche Welle's international training center DW Akademie.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bali Bomber: ‘I Want to Offer my Apologies’ to Australians

Jakarta Globe, Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja - Straits Times, October 07, 2012

Ali Imron was spared the death penalty because he was remorseful.
(AP Photo)
Related articles

If ever he gets out of prison, convicted Bali bomber Ali Imron wants to go to Australia.

“I want to offer my apologies to the victims’ families in their homeland,” he tells The Sunday Times in an interview at his Jakarta detention center.

The 42-year-old was sentenced to life in prison nine years ago, for his role in the October 2002 nightclub bombings in Bali that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

He also wants to tell young militants that violent jihad should be waged only in a war zone or an area where Muslims are being attacked or killed. That would rule out Indonesia.

Unlike his older brothers Mukhlas and Amrozi, and accomplice Imam Samudra — who were all executed by firing squad in 2008 — Ali Imron was spared the death penalty because he was remorseful and cooperative during investigations.

Police raids netted dozens of suspects who were members of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) regional terrorist network, into which Ali Imron was recruited by his brothers. He spent two weeks in Singapore in 1991, staying with Mukhlas’ friends while waiting for a visa to go to Pakistan, where JI members were trained in handling weapons and explosives.

Arrested in January 2003 while on the run in East Kalimantan, he was tried, convicted of helping to assemble the bombs and sentenced that September. Since then, he has been tapped to help counter-terrorism authorities in their investigations.

These days, Ali Imron appeals to militants and would-be terrorists to think long and hard about the damage caused by bombings and how such attacks hinder rather than help their cause.

At his trial, he told the court he realized, belatedly, that the Bali bombings had violated the principles of jihad.

He now says there are many forms of jihad, and the most appropriate for Indonesia is to campaign for the government to adopt Islamic law.

To those who doubt his expressed remorse, he says: “How can you say I’m faking it? I was called a traitor and my old friends declared my blood as halal.” Halal means permissible in Islam.

Some militants declared it would be legitimate to kill him.

On the night of Oct. 12, 2002, Ali Imron drove a minivan to a nightclub the group had targeted. He handed the vehicle to the bomber, whom he had taught how to set off the bomb.

He claimed he was just following the orders of his eldest brother, senior JI member Mukhlas, and that he had tried to persuade the others to abort the mission but was overruled by Mukhlas.

“My thinking at that time was that Mukhlas was doing work that was in line with our network’s aspirations, which meant that we all had to support it,” he said. “But I realized later, it was not the case. Only about one in six members of our network supported the act of bombing.”

Terrorism analyst Harry Purwanto said reformed terrorists like Ali Imron can be effective in helping Indonesia curb the spread of radical ideology.

Radicalized citizens are more willing to listen to former militants than clerics from groups such as the moderate Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama, he told The Sunday Times.

Two years ago, non-profit organization Lazuardi Birru, which organizes activities to counter extremism among young people, made Ali Imron the main character in a comic book titled “Ketika Nurani Bicara” (“When The Conscience Speaks”). It tells the story of how he was recruited and the impact of the bombings on innocent people and their families.

Ali Imron is seeking a presidential pardon and hopes to see his life sentence cut to 20 years. He has pledged to help the authorities continue efforts to deradicalize young militants.

— Reprinted Courtesy The Straits Times

Related Article:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Erasmus Huis Brings the Rijksmuseum to Indonesia

Jakarta Globe, Sylviana Hamdani, October 04, 2012

Onlookers gaze at a piece at the new Erasmus Huis exhibit. (JG Photo)   
Related articles

When you walk through the gates of Erasmus Huis, the Dutch cultural center in South Jakarta, it feels like you’ve suddenly been transported to Amsterdam.

A 12-meter-by-1.5-meter version of the ‘‘I Amsterdam’’ sculpture welcomes visitors at the front of the building. The original ‘‘I Amsterdam’’ piece is a popular attraction as well as a famous photo spot for tourists in the Dutch capital. The Erasmus Huis miniature of the sculpture was presented recently for the opening of the ‘‘Rijksmuseum 2.0” exhibition.

The red-and-white piece is especially beautiful at night while highlighted by dozens of spotlights.

The Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national museum located in Amsterdam, is over 200 years old, though since 1885, the museum has been housed in a grand Renaissance building designed by award-winning Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers. After more than 100 years in this locale, the museum was due for a makeover, so a major renovation project in 2000 was launched by the Dutch government.

The free Erasmus Huis exhibition, which runs until Oct. 12, showcases selections of the museum’s extensive collection, as well as the progress of the current renovations through pictures and videos.

Spanish architects Antonio Cruz and Antonio Ortiz, responsible for revamping the museum, were faced with the challenge of stripping the building of its later additions while restoring Cuypers’ original layout.

After 12 years of work, the renovations are now in their final stages. The museum is scheduled to open to the public on April 13, 2013.

“This exhibition is a sneak preview of the museum from us,” Erasmus Huis director Ton van Zeeland said at the opening of the exhibition on Sept. 24. “It [is] a digital and three-dimensional experience [of] the new Rijksmuseum.”

The main 90-square-meter exhibition hall of Erasmus Huis has been transformed to represent the grandeur of the Rijksmuseum, an ornate marriage of the Gothic and Renaissance styles.

At the door stands three life-sized pop-up panels, as well as floor-to-ceiling wallpaper that portrays the museum’s lavish exterior as seen in the day time.

Four large LCD screens detail the progress of the renovations and also showcase digital animations of the work completed so far.

“They’ve redone it completely [from the] inside out,” said Tjeerd de Zwaan, the Dutch ambassador to Indonesia. “One of the most important things [we did] is restore the inside to its original condition [as] it was built in 1885.”

According to the ambassador, the interior of the museum was originally covered in murals that were eventually whitewashed during later years to highlight the museum’s priceless art collection.

“They’ve now cleaned all the walls and all the ceilings and restored the murals,” said the ambassador. “It’s a very painstaking job, but it looks breathtaking now. It almost looks like a cathedral [on the inside].”

After the renovations are done, the museum will contain new facilities such as souvenir shops and a cafe.

“There will also be paintings about Indonesia from the 17th and 18th century during the Dutch East India Company era [featured],” the ambassador said.

Additionally, a two-hour film that explains how workers removed, transported and stored the museum’s precious collections during the renovation will be screened in the Erasmus Huis exhibition hall.

Tubagus Andre Sukmana, director of Indonesia’s National Gallery, attended the opening of the exhibition and discovered many things from it.

“There is a lot for us to learn from the renovation of the Rijksmuseum,” Tubagus said. “From the film, we can learn how to renovate and rehabilitate old museum building[s] while also taking good care of [their] collections.”

The center of the Erasmus Huis exhibition hall features a magnificent three-dimensional representation of the painting “The Night Watch” by Dutch maestro Rembrandt, the museum’s most iconic holding.

The replica of the magnificent painting fills an entire wall, while the three main “watchmen” were taken out of the painting and made into life-sized pop-ups that are positioned in front of the piece.

Dutch filmmaker Jord den Hollander, another attendee at the opening night, said he was extremely impressed by the installation.

“I was 12 years old when I went to the Rijksmuseum for the very first time,” Hollander said. “I was very much impressed by the real Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch.’ That was very huge to me, and I’m very happy that this evening I can see it in [the] Erasmus Huis in 3D.”

The exhibition was the brainchild of Erasmus Huis in-house designer Boy Siahaan and involved two months of development.

“This is the next Rijksmuseum after the major renovation,” Boy said. “We really wanted to wow the audience.”

The designer, who has never been to the Rijksmuseum himself, conceptualized the exhibition from extensive research and videos of the museum. He then requested high-resolution files from the museum to create replicas of the paintings for this exhibition.

“We also wanted the audience not only to see, but also to interact with the pieces,” Boy said.

Attendees that take their pictures in front of Rembrandt’s three-dimensional painting can send their pictures to Twenty-five selected pictures will be displayed at the exhibition each week.

“The most attractive photo each week will [receive] a unique gift,” Boy said.

Across from “The Night Watch” lays the ‘‘Winter Landscape” by Dutch painter Hendrick Avercamp. A notice beside the painting encourages the audience to spot people doing certain activities within the painting and tag them on Facebook or Twitter.

In another popular piece at the Huis exhibition, the Rijksmuseum’s prized 17th century Doll’s House, was made into an interactive puzzle game. The puzzle is placed on a table at the center of the exhibition hall, and on opening night, those who attended lined up to try to put together the pieces.

“I truly fell in love with ‘The Milkmaid’ [by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer],” Boy said. “The details are amazing. [It’s] as if they’re real.”

The painting portrays a maid pouring milk into a Dutch oven on a table full of different breads. The interior of the room in the painting is very plain, but the little details are extremely intricate, especially the nails on the walls, dull floor tiles and broken window.

At the end of the space, a replica of the ‘‘St. Bavo Church, Haarlem,’’ a masterpiece by Dutch painter Pieter Jansz Saenredam, is featured.

The floor-to-ceiling painting cleverly masks a door at the end of the exhibition hall.

“It’s the most difficult corner for us to decorate,” Boy said. “Luckily, we’ve found this beautiful piece in the museum’s collection that we could replicate to suitably cover the door.”

The painting showcases the inside of the St. Bavo Church as seen through the tall white arches.

“With this painting at the end of the exhibition hall, we actually want to point out to the audience that there is a lot more to the Rijksmuseum than what we can present here,” Boy said.

“They should [go] and see it for themselves.”