Garuda Indonesia Colours Magazine March 2019 - Page 70

68 Explore | Interview INTERVIEW Twenty-eight years in the making, the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) monument finally stands tall over Bali, not only the tallest statue in Indonesia but also arguably the biggest one in the world. Located in GWK Cultural Park in Ungasan, Badung, Bali, the copper and brass statue portrays the Hindu god Vishnu riding the great Garuda as his trusted companion. With its pedestal base, the monument reaches a staggering height of 121m – about the same as a 29-storey skyscraper – and is an impressive 65m wide. To put it in perspective, it dwarfs the Statue of Liberty by almost 30m in height, and is three times its width. Given its impressive height and width, Nyoman proudly declares, “It’s the biggest statue in the world.” The GWK monument was inaugurated by Indonesian President Joko Widodo in September 2018 and is inarguably one of the most prominent landmarks of Bali. The process of its creation, conceived with the former Indonesian Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications Joop Ave, has been a testing and emotional journey for renowned Balinese-born, Bandung-based sculptor and designer Nyoman Nuarta. The artist has had to face many challenges: protests from Balinese groups concerned about the huge size, the statue’s head catching on fire and difficulties obtaining project funding. But none of these dispirited Nyoman. He didn’t stop until the project was finished and became the pride of Bali. “My team and I were so moved when we put the last module on the statue. It was exactly