After a long period of suspended animation, it now appears that the giant Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) monument at Bukit Ungasan in South Bali has resumed construction with the completion of the structure now slated for three years hence.
A ceremony was held on Friday, August 23, 2013, to mark the commencement of the construction of the final form of the monument.
As reported by Beritabali.com, Nyoman Nuarta, the creator of the giant statue depicting the Lord Wisnu sitting atop the shoulders of a mystical Garuda bird, claims the ambitious monument project halted construction in 1997 as the result of a global financial crisis.
“In 1997 it stopped, we were stopped by the crisis. Although construction stopped, we continued developing the design in order that even with minimal pay we could continue. To date the GWK statue has undergone 5 separate redesigns. The location has also shifted to 300 meters south of the Lotus Pond,” explained Nuarta.
The colossal monument with an estimated cost of Rp. 300 billion (US$30 million) is targeted for completion in 3 years. Many of the component parts of the monument have been sent to Bali with the remaining parts sitting in the statue’s workshop in Bandung, West Java.
The GWK statue, when completed, is intended by its designers to be one of the largest monuments in the world. It will stand some 126 meters high and have a width of 64 meters. The main part of the GWK structure will be made of copper weighing 3,000 tons. Accessory parts of the monument, such as the crown and the decorative finishing of the Garuda bird, will be coated in golden mosaic.
The entire structure will stand on a 30,000 square meter multi-storey pedestal that will house multi-purpose rooms, a gallery and a museum of Indonesian culture.
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