Badung, Bali, (ANTARA News) -President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) opened the world`s third highest "Garuda Wisnu Kencana" statue in Badung district, Bali, on Saturday, calling on artists in the country to have courage to dream big with regard to producing big cultural products.

"There is something behind the grandeur of the state that inspires all of us, which states that the courage to develop big ideas can lead to bigger cultural works," he noted.

"Without courage to dream big and make big leaps, no big results can be produced," he noted at the ceremony attended by fifth president Megawati Soekarnoputri; sixth vice president Try Sutrisno; Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Panjaitan; Finance Minister Sri Mulyani; Tourism Minister Arief Yahya; and other state officials.

The 121-meter-high GWK statue is the third highest in the world after The Spring Temple Buddha statue in China and The Laykyun Sekkya Buddha in Myanmar.

"I see this statue not as Bali`s cultural icon or Indonesia`s tourism icon but a step in the nation`s history that will lead to the production of big works, provided we have the courage to dream big ideas," he remarked.

The ideas must continuously be developed and consistently implemented. "It must continuously be implemented; for example, the idea to build the GWK statue, which has finally been realized after 28 years," he explained.

Jokowi hoped that the current technological progress would be able to integrate with arts and culture. "Right now, arts and cultural development must also be integrated with technology," he explained.

He added that the GWK statue, which was designed by Nyoman Nuarte, has also been built by integrating Balinese local art and culture with current technological advancement, new research, and science.

The integration would make the statue be able to stand for around 100 years. "I believe that in the next 100 years, the statue would turn out to be a topic of discussion as a work of civilization, the pride of the nation, and a national heritage," he asserted.

He called on all artists in the country to continue to create ideas. "Keep on creating ideas to produce the best work to enrich the civilization of the Indonesian nation," he stressed.

The GWK statue depicts God Wisnu riding on a Garuda bird. According to Hindu mythology that is adopted by most Balinese, Wisnu is a God of care.

The groundbreaking of the project, which is located on a 60-hectare plot of land, was done in 1997 following the ideas of Balinese sculptor Nyoman Nuarte, then minister of tourism Joop Ave, then Bali governor Ida Bagus Oka, and then energy minister Ida Bagus Sudjana.

The project, approved by then president Soeharto after being presented to him early in 1990, involved around 120 artists.

The location will be used as the venue for a gala dinner for participants of the IMF-World Bank annual meeting scheduled in Bali next month.

Reporting by Desca Lidya Natalia
Editing by Yoseph Hariyadi

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Yosep Hariyadi
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