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Volcanic ash from the eruption of Mt Merapi earlier this week has coated Borobudur in white; the authorities have closed parts of the Buddhist monument for about a week to sweep away the acidic ash.

Volcanic Ash a Threat to Borobudur
Jakarta Globe, 29 October 2010

Volcanic ash that has fallen like heavy rain onto a 9th-century temple complex is threatening one of Indonesia’s most popular tourist attractions, officials said Friday.

Parts of the famed Borobudur temples have been closed to the public so workers can clean off the blanket of white ash from Mount Merapi, which began erupting Tuesday.

Antiquities experts are concerned the acidic soot will speed the decay of the stones, said Marsis Sutopo, head of the temple conservation office.

Visitors can still enter the outside yard to the temples but won’t be able to go inside the gates until at least next week, officials said. A Mahakarya Borobudur traditional dance performance will go on as scheduled Saturday.

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