Painting (circa 1916-1919) by G B Hooijer reconstructing a scene at Borobudur
Image provided to Wikimedia Commons by the Tropenmuseum as part of a co-operation project


The Jakarta Post reports on 6 November that –

MAGELANG: Borobudur Heritage Conservation Agency has made slipcovers for the temple’s 73 stupas in order to protect them if nearby Mount Merapi spews volcanic ash again. Around Rp 200 million (US$21,000) is being spent on the slipcovers, according to Borobudur Conservation Agency head Marsis Sutopo, as reported by Antara news agency. “The slipcovers are made of parachute silk, sewn and customized according to the stupas’ shapes and sizes,” said Marsis. The main stupa at the top of the temple is also included.

When Mount Merapi erupted in 2010, Borobudur was covered in up to 3.5 centimeters of ash. The temple was closed for months during the cleanup operation. “Ash is really hard to clean off, especially when it gets inside the stupas. We have to dismantle them first,” said Marsis. “If the disaster happens again, we can immediately protect them.”

The agency also received funds to repair Borobudur’s walls, revamp the yard and undertake other restorations. Borobudur, one of the biggest Buddhist temples in the world, was built in the eighth and ninth centuries AD during the Syailendra Dynasty. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.