There's renewed hope that the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Monument Park (GWK) on Bali's Ungasan Peninsula may soon pass out of its current state of limbo and enjoy a sudden surge of construction leading to a formal completion in 2008.
During a top-level visit to GWK led by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Saturday, February 18, 2006, the President labeled the inspiration behind the cultural park as "brilliant" and called on all parties to put aside any petty differences to allow the monument of lasting meaning to the world and Indonesia to be completed.
With an estimated cost of US$70.6 million, the GWK’s centerpiece will be a colossal monument standing 146 meters high and some 286 meters above sea level. With a foundation structure the equivalent of a 16 storey building, the total statue is estimated to eventually weigh 2,000 tons when completed and will resemble the imagery of the Hindu epic hero Lord Wisnu sitting stop the back of the mythical Garuda bird. The wing span of the Garuda bird will be an impressive 60 meters.
The 250 hectare project will include the monument plaza, an international trade and promotion center, landscaped gardens, a festival and water park, a 5,000 person capacity convention center, a resort complex, and a residential complex.
Leading the President through the project’s construction site, was the GWK Foundation Chairman, General Made Pastika, who embraced the President’s stated desire to see the monument complex completed in time for the 100th celebration of National Awakening Day on May 20, 2008. Pastika did not see any of the ongoing legal disputes regarding the Park's operation as impacting on ongoing discussions with Krakatau Steel and Telkomsel to provide the financial support to compete the project.
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