via New Straits Times, 05 April 2018:
via Channel NewsAsia, 27 July 2017: A new exhibition in Singapore features Lego versions of World Heritage Sites, including Southeast Asian ones like Angkor Wat, Borobudur and the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Brick by brick: New Lego exhibition gathers together World Heritage Sites
- Botanic Gardens debuts in Singapore leg of exhibition featuring Lego replicas of World Heritage sites (Straits Times, 27 July 2017)
Former US President Obama visited Borobudur last week with much fanfare, and it was nice of him to leave a positive note about the continued preservation of the site.
- Heritage sites in Indonesia reflect spirit of tolerance: Obama (Jakarta Post, 02 July 2017)
- Visiting Temples, Obama Saw Testament of Religious Tolerance in Indonesia (Neutral News, 01 July 2017)
- Another day, another temple! (Daily Mail, 29 July 2017)
- Obama to visit Borobudur temple (Antara News, 28 July 2017)
- Obama to Visit Borobudur, Prambanan Temples in Yogyakarta (Tempo, 27 July 2017)
Authorities are considering restricting the number of visitors to Borobudur to 15 at any one time to limit structural damage to the ancient monument.
Govt to Only Allow 15 Visitors at a Time at Borobudur Temple
Jakarta Globe, 30 August 2016
Authorities Indonesia to Limit Visitor Numbers at Borobudur Temple
Indonesia Investments, 31 August 2016
The government plans to limit the number of visitors who will be allowed access to Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, to only 15 at any given time, an official said on Tuesday (30/08).
State-run Antara news agency quoted Nadjamuddin Ramly, the director of heritage and cultural diplomacy at the Ministry of Education and Culture, as saying that there are concerns about the preservation of the ninth-century Mahayana Buddhist temple. He said the Unesco World Heritage Site often receives hundreds of visitors, who all enter the at the same time, which may affect the building’s structural integrity.
He said the government will issue a regulation that limits the number of people allowed to enter at any given time. The figure of 15 is based on research data related to the structural capacity of the building.
Full stories here and here.
Borobudur authorities are enforcing a ban on touching stupas and Buddhas in an effort to preserve the site from damage.
Tourists banned from touching Borobudur statues, stupa
Jakarta Post, 27 July 2016
Travelers visiting Borobudur Temple in Central Java should avoid touching and stepping on the temple’s stupa in order to preserve one of the world’s most sacred heritage sites.
Borobudur Conservation Agency public relations officer Mura told tempo.co that authorities had consistently warned tourists through the loudspeaker regarding the matter.
“Touching the stupa can cause damage to the temple. Although it’s made from stone, it can be broken. The bottom part of the stupa has become soft and it lost its original shape due to being touched repeatedly by tourists,” said Mura while showing a palm print that had corroded the temple’s stone.
Borobudur was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Built in the 8th century, it is the biggest Buddhist monument in the world.
Full story here.
Borobudur is Indonesia’s most famous ancient temple site and also a Unesco World Heritage site. This story tells an inside history of how local communities have lobbied to protect the site from outside commercial interests.
The hidden story of Borobudur
Inside Indonesia, Jul-Sep 2016
The local resistance movement, whose lobbying against the mall was eventually successful, used not only conventional demonstrations, such as rallies, but also protests in the form of rituals and art performances. This was to show the government that it was time to stop exploiting Borobudur for commercial purposes and instead nurture the Borobudur that had provided local residents with meaning and livelihoods. Rituals and art performances are an act of giving. Unlike the economically motivated protests in which people demanded their share of the profits gained from treating the temple as a commodity, these cultural protestors voluntarily gave their money, energy and time to maintain the spiritual and social importance of Borobudur. In the controversial arena of cultural heritage management, local groups with strong support are making a robust case: it is time to give the spiritual and ethical basis of Borobudur the respect and attention it deserves.
Full story here.
Drink brand Red Bull issues an apology for desecrating Borobudur by filming an unauthorised commercial at the sacred site.
Red Bull apologizes to Indonesia over offensive ad
AFP, via Rappler, 30 June 2016
Red Bull has publicly apologized for shooting a commercial in which an athlete performed acrobatic stunts across one of Indonesia’s ancient holy temples, an official said Thursday, June 30.
The energy drink manufacturer issued an apology in national newspapers admitting it shot the video at the 9th-century Borobudur temple “without permission from the appropriate authorities”.
The video – in which a famous “free running” athlete is shown jumping between the temple’s stone stupas – triggered outrage in Indonesia, where Borobudur is a revered Buddhist site and national icon.
Full story here.
Energy drink manufacturer Red Bull filmed an advertisement at the World Heritage Site of Borobudur, featuring a parkour sequence with people jumping off the walls of the ancient monument. The authorities, needless to say, were not amused. Not cool, Red Bull!
Red Bull lambasted for unlicensed filming at Indonesia’s Borobudur temple
Jakarta Post, 23 March 2016
The Borobudur Conservation Agency (BKB) is preparing an official complaint against the manufacturer of energy drink Red Bull regarding an advert that has aroused the ire of the citizenry and netizenry of Yogyakarta.
BKB head Marsis Sutopo said the video was shot at the world heritage Borobudur temple without the permission of the Culture and Education Ministry.
‘Engaging in parkour at Borobudur temple is absolutely not recommended as it could damage the stone formation and the temple’s structure. It fails, moreover, to show respect for the sacred building,’ Marsis said.
Full story here.
Am Indonesian Minister has said that he wants to turn the 7th century Javanese monument into a Buddhist pilgrimage site.
Borobudur Planned to be Mecca for Buddhists
Tempo, 04 October 2015
Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli said that he would make the Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, to become the main tour destination for Buddhists from around the world.
“We want Borobudur to become the Mecca for Buddhists. Just like Muslims, they always want to go on hajj pilgrimage before they die,” Rizal said when opening an event called Tribute to Batik in Jakarta on Saturday, October 3, 2015.
Rizal, who was the former coordinating economic minister during President Abdurrahman Wahid’s era, claimed that the Borobudur temple was more beautiful than the Angkor Vat in Cambodia. Therefore, Rizal said that the Borobudur Temple must become a religious tour destination for Buddhists.
Full story here.
We have it with Angkor Wat, and now, Borobudur! Google Street View comes to Java’s amazing stupa and it’s a great way to visit (or re-visit) the reliefs on the temple.
A comprehensive trip to Borobudur from your couch
Jakarta Post, 29 September 2015
Giant search engine Google now makes it possible for globe travelers to experience the world’s wonders even before booking a tour package.
Launched on Sept. 27 across Google platforms — Google Maps, Street View and the Cultural Institute — users can access panoramic, 360-degree imagery of Borobudur Temple, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from their mobile devices.
In partnership with the Culture and Education Ministry, Tourism Ministry and the agency managing the maintenance of the temple and other heritage sites in the vicinity — PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan dan Ratu Boko — Google released a number of virtual tours of the site, located in the Central Java town of Magelang, a one hour drive from Yogyakarta.
Google Indonesia’s head of public policy and government relations Shinto Nugroho explained that Borobudur Temple was chosen to mark the digitalization of Indonesia’s heritage sites because it met a number of criteria.
“Borobudur Temple is a heritage site with amazing architecture and it’s also a main tourist destination,” she said at a launch event held at the temple compound, in conjunction with Google’s 17th anniversary.