Plastic wrap to Boroudur's rescue!

Well, not exactly plastic wrap in the sense of the stuff you find in the kitchen. The latest plan to protect Borobudur from the fallout ash from Mt Merapi is to cover the monument in plastic. But it seems that the 2,000 square metres of plastic that they already have isn’t quite enough to protect the site. I’m not exactly clear over how the plastic is supposed to protect the site. Are they going to lay a plastic tent over the monument? Or are they going to literally wrap each stupa with a layer of plastic? Anybody in the ground care to comment?

Soldiers cleaning Borobudur - Jakarta Globe 20101111

Plastic to Protect Indonesia’s Borobudur From Ravages of Merapi Ash
Jakarta Globe, 11 November 2010

With archeologists from all over the world worried about the damage Mount Merapi’s acidic ash might do to Borobudur Temple, local conservationists have come up with a simple solution — wrap the world heritage site in plastic.

Marsis Sutopo, the head of the Borobudur conservation office, said on Thursday that the threat to the iconic ninth-century temple was the subject of much discussion among international experts.

“Archaeologists from the Netherlands, Japan and Australia have contacted us to offer help to overcome the impact of Mount Merapi on Borobudur Temple,” he said.

Marsis said the foreign archeologists had offered to come to Indonesia to inspect the temple after hearing it was being covered in volcanic ash.

“We politely declined their generosity,” he said. “Although this is the first time we’ve experienced this problem in the past century, we are confident that we can address the issue.


Related Posts

Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *