"Today is part of the inspections that we keep doing. I have been here three times and of course, the progress is outstanding," he said while speaking with the young finalists of the #GirlsTakeover event at Sarinah Building here on Tuesday.
According to Thohir, the ministry initially planned to reopen the building in August, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reopening was deferred to March next year.
Sarinah will continue to be treated as part of history, but by implementing a new system and business model, he said.
"I think it proves that history should not be forgotten. This is where Sarinah continues to be a part of history, but with a new ecosystem and business model," he added.
Minister Thohir said the history of Sarinah and fine arts, such as the great relief, a type of visual art, from the restoration effort will also be exhibited at the building.
"What we are waiting for is the results of the restored relief. When I checked it, it was great. Now we are figuring out the best moment to exhibit this relief," he remarked.
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Earlier, Thohir had endorsed the masterpiece relief and requested for the art to be restored. "When Sarinah reopens, this relief can be displayed to the public," he remarked.
The relief symbolizes the economic life of the commoners who, in the past, relied on agricultural products, plantations, fisheries, and crafts, he informed.
According to the records of several historians and fine arts experts, it was sculpted by a group of Yogyakarta artists during Indonesia's construction period (1962-1966) and features hawkers and traders who represent commoners' struggles to make a living.
Furthermore, the art is a reminder that Sarinah will keep providing help to commoners, Thohir said. After a fire in the 1980s, Sarinah widened its corridors for visitors, he informed. Later, the relief was removed and stored on the ground floor, he added.
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