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The Long and Winding Road to GWK

Nyoman Nuarta, the Man Who Created Garuda Wisnu Kencana Monument Reflects on a Bali Icon 28 Years in the Making
In an interview published by Kompas.com, Nyoman Nuarta the Balinese artists who has spent the past 28 years conceiving, designing and supervised the creation of the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) monument reminisced about the long journey that will see the iconic statue open in August 2018.

Noting how swiftly the years have passed, Nuarta, said: “I pioneered the GWK 28 years ago, when I was still young but have now grown old. But the fire of my spirit and ideals cannot be extinguished and, at long last, I will finish the GWK monument in 2018.”

Nyoman Nuarta views the GWK monument as his gift to the people of Indonesia.

The success of finally inaugurating the GWK monument is the fruit of Nuarta’s patience and deep patriotism.

”In the month of August 2018, I wish to witness the official completion of the GWK statues; the small details connected with the final finishing of the statues can happen after that,” said Nuarta. Nuarta said the ceremonial completion of the monument will take place in August, on or near national Independence Day on August 17th.

On Sunday, May 15, 2018, the head of the Lord Wisnu was carefully lowered and installed on the GWK. On May 20th the crown of Lord Wisnu will be attached.

The 28-year long process leading to the inauguration of the GWK in August 2018 has been long, arduous and filled with obstacles. In 1989 plans were first drawn to produce a landmark for Bali tourism. Supporting the bold concept were the then Minister of Tourism Joop Ave, Bali Governor Ida Bagus Oka, Ida Bagus Sudjana and the only surviving member of the visionary group Nyoman Nuarta.

The project received the official blessing of then President Soeharto in 1993, which was followed by years of intensive socialization and lobbying among legislators and the public in Bali, with the project precipitating waves of criticism and opposition in 1997.

Nuarta, who once held 82% of the shares in GWK project, relinquished his majority ownership to PT Alam Sutera Realty in 2012 in order to create a financial road ahead for the eventual completion of the project.

The height of the GWK monument is 121 meters, making it taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York

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