News World Construction of world’s biggest statue reaches beak, but not yet peak

Construction of world’s biggest statue reaches beak, but not yet peak

Model of Garuda's head with GWK statue in background. Photo: ABC
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There has been an important milestone reached on the construction of the world’s biggest statue in Bali.

The team piecing together a $100 million statue of a Hindu god riding a mythical bird have fitted Garuda’s beak to the sculpture’s steel skeleton.

The work – Garuda Wisnu Kencana – is expected to be finished next year, sculptor Nyoman Nuarta said.

The project has so far taken 25 years.

Mr Nuarta said mild weather had allowed the team to move quite quickly in fitting the statue’s copper and brass skin to its steel skeleton.

The Garuda Wisnu Kencana is about 75 metres high, or 120 metres if you include the pedestal – that is about 30 metres higher than the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Head of Wisnu
The head of Hindu god Wisnu, before the copper and brass skin is applied. Photo: ABC

But where the Liberty statue is tall and thin, the Garuda is almost as wide as it is high – its wingspan is over 60 metres.

Despite being decades in the making, Mr Nuarta said the statue was expected be finished in time for next year’s Indonesian Independence Day on August 17.

Ida Bagus Gede Budi Hartawan, one of the people behind the project, maintained the project was important for Indonesia.

“Culture is a big thing for our country, our civilisation,” Mr Gede said.
“When we talk of technology, we may not be there yet. When we talk of economy, we may not be there yet either. But when we speak of culture, we can be equal.”