Work on the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Complex Halted
Whenever I visit Bali more often than not I get down to Jimbaran Bay and visit the magnificent Garuda Wisnu Kencana complex. As a cultural park, it is no doubt a centre-piece of tourism in Bali The Garuda Wisnu Kencana complex, situated on a limestone hill in Jimbaran, Bali, is an integrated cultural centre with a 140 meter-high statue as its landmark. The whole complex is the brainchild of Nyoman Nuarta, a Balinese contemporary sculptor, who raised the idea in 1992. It truly is a wonderful place to wander around and now that development has progressed over the years the park has some great facilities including an exhibition centre, villas, a group of small resotrans as well as a spacious parking lot to accommodate visitors. The complex’s 140-meter monument consists of a 70 meter-tall base and a 70 meter-tall statue of the Hindu deity Wisnu (Vishnu) astride the mythical bird Garuda. When it is fully realized, the Garuda Wisnu statue will be the tallest statue in Southeast Asia. The statue is to symbolize a harmonious relationship between human beings and the natural environment, as well as the spiritual life of the Balinese people.
I was reading an article today in the Jakarta Post regarding this great complex. Apparently, work there has been halted due to budget constraints. The project will need at least US$80 million in additional funds to be completed, the park’s initiator says. Surely they could raise enough funds from the daily tourist visiting the site as well as from big business. But, it’s the same old story and saddening because for years, construction has been hindered by a range of problems, from a chronic lack of funds to internal disputes among the park’s managing executives. Only time will tell.