BALI, INDONESIA, August 24, 2013 (Jakarta Post): (Note: the Balinese spell "Visnu" as "Visnu," which tends to confuse the rest of us, so we've changed it to Visnu for this article).
Dramatic performances by the famous Kecak Rina troupe, guitar prodigy Dewa Budjana, singer Trie Utami, up-and-coming dancer Keni Kurniasari, harpist Maya Hasan and hundreds of local residents marked the groundbreaking ceremony of the Garuda Visnu Kencana (GWK) statue on Friday evening at Ungasan in Badung, Bali.
The ceremony marked a new chapter in the construction of the statue after a 16-year hiatus caused by a regime change, nationwide economic crisis, internal turf wars and lack of committed investors. The new beginning for the statue, designed to be Indonesia's tallest monument and Bali's new cultural icon, was made possible by giant property developer PT. Alam Sutera Realty Tbk (ASR), which committed Rp 450 billion (US$40,000,000) to finance the construction of the statue and other undisclosed funding to develop the cultural park and integrated tourism facility in parts of the 60-hectare site of the monument.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place at precisely 5:50 p.m. when Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika, billionaire The Ning King, who is the founder of Argo Manunggal Group -- the parent company of ASR, Badung Regent, Anak Agung Gde Agung and sculptor Nyoman Nuarta placed their right hands over each others' and pushed the button that sounded a siren. As the siren wailed, five mixer trucks poured tons of concrete into a large rectangular opening on the designated site of the statue's pedestal.
Nuarta estimated that the construction and installation of the GWK statue would take around three years to complete. The 75-meter-high statue, which is made of copper and brass sheeting, stainless steel framework and skeleton, is being constructed in Nuarta's workshop in the Sarijadi area, Bandung, West Java. The outer parts of the statue, some 22,000 square meters in size, and their stainless steel framework will be chopped into 700 modules before being transported to Bali. The modules will require 400 trucks to transport.
In its final form, the GWK statue will be 246 feet tall with a wingspan of 210 feet. The statue will stand on a lofty pedestal that will bring the total height of the monument to 413 feet, some 98 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty in the US. It will weigh 3,000 tons and its volume will be 11 times greater than that of the Statue of Liberty.