Germany and Unesco on Monday signed an agreement at the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, formally agreeing to continue close cooperation in safeguarding and preserving the Borobudur Buddhist temple complex, a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Under the agreement, the German government will contribute more than $130,000 to Unesco for the project, a statement from the German Embassy in Jakarta said.
The funds will be used to continue Unesco’s second phase restoration activities by inviting six international conservation experts — in stone conservation, microbiology, structural engineering and chemical engineering — to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the Borobudur temple and ensure its long-term preservation.
Preservationists will visit the site over two periods, from June 10-17 and later this year in September or October.
In September 2011, Germany’s first contribution was used to invite two stone conservation experts to begin research at the temple in January of this year. Professor Hans Leisen and Esther von Plehwe Leisen analyzed the temple for a 10-day period and made recommendations to ensure the site’s preservation.
The upcoming supplementary missions will launch the preservation activities recommended in the January report and will include capacity building activities to enhance the preservation capabilities of governmental staff and young conservation experts.
The eruption of Mount Merapi, which began on Oct. 26, 2010, caused the loss of hundred of lives and did severe damage to the surrounding infrastructure, livelihoods and the Borobudur temple compound.
Immediately after the eruption, an emergency response strategy was established by the then-Ministry of Culture and Tourism and a coalition of NGOs. The aim of the project was not only to rehabilitate the Borobudur site but also to enhance and promote the livelihoods of affected local communities.