Work on Bali’s iconic statue of Garuda Wisnu Kencana resumes
After a hiatus of 16 years, work on the colossal Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue on Bali will finally resume and will take three years to complete, said I Nyoman Nuarta, Indonesia's maestro sculptor and c
After a hiatus of 16 years, work on the colossal Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue on Bali will finally resume and will take three years to complete, said I Nyoman Nuarta, Indonesia’s maestro sculptor and creator of Bali’s iconic statue. Having been postponed since 1997, this magnificent monument is projected to become an exceptional landmark for Indonesia’s tourism in this modern age.
Upon completion, the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) statue will be the largest and tallest statue in the world. Depicting Lord Vishnu mounting the mythical Garuda bird, the statue is planned to reach a total height of 126 meters, weighing no less than 3,000 tons. The majestic GWK statue will then stand taller than the 93 meters Statue of Liberty in New York, United States.
Placed in the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park – a 240-hectare tourism park sited on the Bukit Peninsula, the limestone plateau that faces Uluwatu due west and Nusa Dua due east – the 23 meters high head and torso of Lord Vishnu today already stands in place and is the focal point of the park.
Conceptualized by sculptor, I Nyoman Nuarta, actual work on the statue is, nonetheless, not undertaken in Bali, but in the artist’s workshop, NuArt Studio, in the mountain town of Bandung in West Java, involving many artists and experts from various fields to work in this mega project.
The entire project will feature two gigantic statues: the head and half torso of Wisnu (Vishnu), and the full form of the Garuda bird. Together both will be 75 meters high with the Garuda wing span reaching 64 meters wide. Both will then be placed on top of a 60-meter pedestal, and the total structure will then stand 126 meters high. The statue’s structure is made of copper, brass, steel, and gold mosaic placed on specified parts.
This incredible monument will be visible from a 20-km distance, and can be clearly viewed from Kuta, Sanur, Nusa Dua, Uluwatu and Tanah Lot. Visitors will be able to ascend inside the statue to its chest level. From that height, visitors will look down the most panoramic view of the fabled island of Bali.
At the moment, about 200 workers are working in Nu Art Studio in the construction of this magnificent statue. Upon completion, the statue will be sent in parts from Bandung to Bali to be reassembled on the site at the Bukit Peninsula.
As many as 13 modules of the project are currently being transported, which are expected to reach Bali late July or early August. The process of reassembling will cost around IDR157 billion, even more expensive than the work on the statue itself which took IDR150 billion. It will take about 400 huge trucks to transport parts of the 3,000-ton statue from Bandung to the site in Bali. Transportation of all modules will take place gradually over the course of the next three years.
The Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue and park was initiated by members of the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Foundation, a group of influential people that include Joop Ave, then Minister for Tourism and Telecommunications, IB Sudjana, Minister for Mining and Energy, I Made Mangku Pastika, current Governor of Bali, sculptor I Nyoman Nuarta, and a number of businessmen.
Made from more than 4,000 tons of copper and brass, the statue depicts Lord Vishnu, as the source of wisdom, mounting the mythical bird Garuda as manifestation of the conscience of Amerta, the Perennial Goodness.
The extensive Cultural Park in which the statue stands covers more than 240 hectares, once an abandoned and unproductive limestone quarry. The GKW Cultural Park is already an attraction for both local and foreign visitors, completed with supporting facilities such as the Lotus Pond, Festival Park, Amphitheater, Street Theater, Exhibition Hall, as well as Jendela Bali, The Panoramic Resto and souvenir shop.
Dinners and other functions involving hundreds of delegates in large conventions are regularly organized here as well as shows by Indonesian and international stars like Iron Maiden, have also performed here to large crowds.
For more information on the GWK Park, please log on to their official website: http://gwk-culturalpark.com