Wisnu Statue is a Private Project

June 19, 2017

Overlooking Bali International Airport stands a hill. The top of that hill will be a gigantic copper and brass sculpture of Wisnu. Wisnu is a Hindu god. In this stature, Wisnu will be depicted riding Garuda, a mythical bird, who strongly grips a beautiful pedestal made of concrete. The statue comes in a remarkable total of $100 million thus far, and has been in development for over two and a half decades.

The project suffered many setbacks in its fruition. It endured multiple re-designs, problems with cash, and unsteady construction practices. But finally, the project seems to be in its final run as it progresses through its final stage of fitting the skin over the metal frame. The statue is predicted to be completely finished by next September.

Now that the project is in its final stages, designers, engineers, and all those involved reflect back on the challenges they faced in bringing this project to light. The initial problems were with fundraising. Since the Wisnu statue is a private project, finding funding from individuals proved difficult. There were also cost fluctuations along the way that made moving into construction impossible at the time.

Another feat was the engineering. This also had its moments of complexity and frustration, as a statue this large has never been built before. The challenges were unexplored until this point, making the engineers of the Wisnu project pioneers in their field. As the statue and his pedestal stand an incredible 120 metres tall, towering the Statue of Liberty by 30 metres, there were fears over whether Wisnu could even withstand future strong gusts, seeing as the plan is for Wisnu to last at least 100 years. With the project finally taking shape as it was conceived in the designer’s imagination, those involved in the massive project can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Wind itself also posed a problem in the construction of the statue. Strong gusts of over ten knots slowed the construction timeline because cranes can’t operate if the wind is blowing strongly. Plus, maintenance workers can’t fully access the outer area of the statue because of its unusual girth. However, the team’s declared responsibilities keep them continuing strongly. Their goal is “to preserve the culture, develop it, and find new alternative cultures.”

It’s projected that the statue is going to do wonders for Indonesia and Bali’s hurting tourism industry. Indonesians hold culture very close to their heart, and for many, it’s the proudest aspect of their culture. Their creativity is what gets them through hard times when the economy struggles or tragedy erupts. Indonesians are hoping that the Wisnu statue will breathe new life into their global image, and drive tourists back to their beautiful country again for generations to come.
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