Indonesia Appeals for International Help to Save Borobudur Temple

06 April, 2011 | Source: Jakarta Globe

Indonesian preservation experts have issued a call for international financial assistance to help save Borobudur Temple, Antara is reporting.

The world heritage site, which includes the Mendut and Pawon temples, suffered severe damage during last year’s Mount Merapi’s volcanic eruptions, which claimed 322 lives.

Besides the human toll, the thick, acidic ash that now blankets the temples continued to pose an ongoing threat to their preservation, Antara reported on Wednesday.

When diluted with water, the acidic ash, which also contains hyaline (a glass-like substance), reacts with the stone, including the famed relief carvings and stupa, accelerating corrosion of the surface.

“This potential and inevitable damage if not mitigated very soon constitutes a significant threat to the outstanding universal value of the three temples,” Antara reported.

The report said that Indonesian authorities had appealed to Unesco for assistance.

“Some funds have already been committed to these emergency actions, and identified preliminary operations are currently underway at the site using this financial allocation, which is essentially the process of removing surface coating from parts of the drainage systems and reliefs.

“However, substantial financial resources are still needed to fully restore the Borobudur Temple Compounds, to rehabilitate the cultural tourism sector, and to enhance the livelihoods of affected local communities who are directly and indirectly dependent on the site for their livelihoods.”



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