Missing in Action
Statue of Namesake of Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport Moved to New Location Closer to Entrance
Gusti Ngurah Rai – the Balinese revolutionary hero went missing in action, at least temporarily.
At 11:30 pm on Monday. July 15, 2013, the statue of Colonel I Gusti Ngurah Rai left its dais at the round-about near the airport’s entrance and was moved to a new location even closer to the new entrance to the airport.
The move, necessitated by the extensive remodeling and upgrade underway at Bali’s airport, was approved by the family of the illustrious revolutionary leader who perished on November 20, 1946 in the Puputan Margarana near Tabanan, West Bali.
The timing and date of the move was done in accordance with dewasa aya– the Balinese calendar that sets out specific and propitious dates for major undertakings.
The entire move went smoothly requiring only one hour to complete and took place almost one year later than originally planned by the airport authority and four year’s after the monument's initial erection.
Much care and attention was invested in the statue's initial erection in 2009. The statues (including its pedestal) stood 8 meters high and was surrounded by 17 water fountains in order to reflect the founding date of the Indonesian Republic August 17, 1945.
It is not clear if this numerological significance has been preserved in the statue’s new location.
Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport is home to two commemorative statues honoring the Airport’s namesake. One statue of Gusti Ngurah Rai stands in the newly created roundabout at the airport entrance to the new Bali toll way and the second, the just-move statue now standing near the airport’s entrance.