• Breaking News

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    Tarpanulin Protect Borobudur Temple Relics from Volcanic Ash

    Tobapos -- Tarpaulin sheets have been used to cover the Stupa, relics of Buddha, at the Borobudur temple in Magelang, Central Java, as protection from the volcanic ashes from the Mt Kelud eruption in East Java.

    Head of Borobudur Conservation Agency Marsis Sutopo stated that at around 5 a.m., the temple was closed for visitors, who were there to see the sunrise, as the officers had covered a number of relics with tarpaulin.

    As many as 72 small relic pieces and a main relic have now been covered with tarpaulin because the volcanic ash may corrode the relics.

    Besides the relics, the tarpaulin also covers the temple floors from the seventh to tenth floor.

    "The tarpaulin covering was done by many of the temple's personnel, and it was done within a short span of time, considering the time to cover one small relic would take at least 10 minutes," Marsis explained.

    Marsis added that the tarpaulin cover installation has been done since it is not known when the volcanic ash rain will stop.

    Although volcanic ash has covered some areas of the temple, at least the covering can now prevent more ash from damaging the relics.

    The current ash thickness has reached about three to five millimeters, and based on earlier experiences, it will take at least 10 days for the ashes to be cleaned up.

    "We do not know when the cleaning process can begin, as we are not sure when the volcanic ash rain will stop," he clarified.

    Currently, the Borobudur temple has temporarily been closed to the public, until the cleaning process is completed.

    "The temple's relic covering effort process involves officials from the Borobudur Conservancy and Borobudur Tourism Park; the community has not yet been involved in the effort," he stated.

    However, the community and volunteers will be involved in the efforts after the volcanic ash rain stops. (ant/adm)

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