On Wednesday, June 05, 2002, a special ceremony was held at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Monument Park (GWK) on Bali's Ungasan Peninsula to celebrate the laying of the foundation stone for the pedestal that will eventually serve as the base for a colossal monument standing 146 meters high and some 286 meters above sea level.
The ceremony, attended by an estimated 2,000 invitees and presided over by the Coordination Minister for the Economy, Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti, marked commencement of the construction of the massive anchoring pedestal which, on its own, will have a height of 80 meters, equivalent to a 16-story building. The foundation platform will form part of a total statue estimated to eventually weigh 2,000 tons and built to 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.
In inaugurating the foundation stone, Minister Dorodjatun requested that those behind the project accelerate the completion of the monuments to demonstrate to the world that Indonesia has emerged from its era of crisis. In his remarks, the Minister also underlined the economic benefits to be brought to Bali by the monuments completion, the positive environmental effect of having reclaimed a disused quarry to build the site, and how the monuments and its surrounding facilities will eventually become a cultural center for the island.
The 250 hectare project, when completed, 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.
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