Garuda Wisnu Park Completed by October 2008?
President Wants Long-Delayed Cultural Park Finished in Time for World Cultural Festival in Bali.
According to the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, President Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono has expressed the wish that the 250-hectare cultural park and monument Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) complex on Bali’s Ungasan peninsula can be finally complete by October 2008, in time for the World Cultural Festival planned in Bali.
With a completion cost variously estimated at between US$70 and US$270 million, the centerpiece of the park will be a monument standing 146 meters high and some 286 meters above sea level. With a foundation structure the equivalent of a 16 storey building, the total statue is estimated to eventually weigh 2,000 tons when completed and will resemble the image of the Hindu epic hero Lord Wisnu sitting stop the back of the mythical Garuda bird. The wing span of the Garuda bird will be an impressive 60 meters.
The 250-hectare project will include the monument plaza, an international trade and promotion center, landscaped gardens, a festival and water park, a 5,000 person capacity convention center, a resort complex, and a residential complex.
Done by October 2008?
Indonesia’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, told Bisnis Indonesia that “the President hopes that by October 2008 the construction of GWK will be completed.” In related comments after a meeting with President Yudhoyono, Made Mangku Pastika, the Chairman of the GWK Foundation, admitted the President’s target will be difficult to achieve in current conditions, but said chances for success will be increased if support from local investors and national banks materializes.
Pastika told the press that around Rp. 2.5 trillion (approximately US$270 million) is needed to finish the project with half being spent on the actual statue and the remaining half on supporting facilities and buildings.
According to Bisnis Indonesia, 15% of the technical work on GWK is finished with 42% of the construction completed.
Pastika is confident that, once complete, the GWK monument park will draw 10,000 visitors a day, a realistic target given the fact that in it’s half-completed state it already manages to attract 2,000-3,000 visitors every day.
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Susi Johnston’s opinion
I recall that the whole GWK park concept was very controversial, back when it was still rolling forward rather than stalled. What were the main issues that caused concern? Anyone remember? Something about a “Bali World” theme park . . . where “sample” Balinese people did Balinese things so everyone could watch them like the trained seals at a zoo?
And is the giant statue earthquake safe?
Vishnu is a “protector”. So it would be disturbing if he came crashing down on 10,000 visitors one day, don’t you think?
I certainly hope the development doesn’t include any more shopping centers. There are too many already.
1. The Bali Galleria at Simpang Siur is still not all rented out, and most of the merchants there look like their business is quite slow.
2. The Discovery Mall is also not all rented out, and looks very sleepy, and also not really Completely finished (while parts of it are already falling down).
3. The Istana Kuta Galleria (at central parkir, where Ace Hardware is), is also not all rented out yet, looks like more than half empty, and it seems that everyone but the Balinese supermarket and Ace Hardware is having a hard time making any money. Again, not rented out yet, and parts of it are falling down, disintegrating.
4. The “Bali Collection” mall at Nusa Dua is also not all rented out yet, and the pace there is deadsville. Poor SOGO (anchor department store), it’s like a mausoleum in there.
5. The Carrefours development on Sunset Road is built already, and is basically a shopping center itself, with numerous merchants and the megastore concept of Carrefours pretty much covering all merchandise categories. It’s not open yet, because of a (probably spurious) land dispute which arose strategically at the last moment (better chance of getting a big payoff).
6. There are also plans for a huge shopping center already, at Pecatu Indah (Tommy’s mega development, which is back online, going forward). I think they are calling the shopping/entertainment mega- mall “New Kuta”. What a great name, eh? That project will be but a stone’s throw away from GWK, so I certainly hope GWK isn’t making another mall.
Personally, if I see another faux Prada, Ralph Lauren or D&G shop I am going to lose my lunch.
Rucina Ballinger’s opinion
My recollection is that they wanted to make GWK into a casino with restaurants and lasers shooting out of Wisnu’s eyes so that tourists coming here at night would be “wowed”.
Remember who was governor when this went to the vote…… (three letters, begins with “O”).
Where is Putu Suasta and his band of merry protestors now?