According to the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, President Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono has expressed the wish that the 250-hectare cultural park and monument Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) complex on Bali's Ungasan peninsula can be finally complete by October 2008, in time for the World Cultural Festival planned in Bali.
With a completion cost variously estimated at between US$70 and US$270 million, the centerpiece of the park will be a 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 image 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.
Done by October 2008?
Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, told Bisnis Indonesia that "the President hopes that by October 2008 the construction of GWK will be completed." In related comments after a meeting with President Yudhoyono, Made Mangku Pastika, the Chairman of the GWK Foundation, admitted the President's target will be difficult to achieve in current conditions, but said chances for success will be increased if support from local investors and national banks materializes.
Pastika told the press that around Rp. 2.5 trillion (approximately US$270 million) is needed to finish the project with half being spent on the actual statue and the remaining half on supporting facilities and buildings.
According to Bisnis Indonesia, 15% of the technical work on GWK is finished with 42% of the construction completed.
Pastika is confident that, once complete, the GWK monument park will draw 10,000 visitors a day, a realistic target given the fact that in it's half-completed state it already manages to attract 2,000-3,000 visitors every day.
[ GWK Monument Back on Track?]
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