November 14, 2010

The carvings of Borobudur are in danger of being damaged by the volcanic ashes of Mount Merapi

Location: Borobudur, East Java, Indonesia (7°36′29″S 110°12′14″E)
Date: 21 July 2008; 9.40am
Camera: Canon 400D with EF 70-200/f4 IS L

Borobudur is under siege again, this time from nature. The continuing eruptions of Mount Merapi with its consequent release of huge amount of volcanic ash into the air are causing great concerns to the experts on the preservation of Borobudur. Apparently the statues and stupas of the monument are already coated by volcanic ashes 5 cm thick. The volcanic ashes are acidic and could cause irreparable damage to the monument as it embeds into the pores of the structures. Army of staff had been deployed to clean up the ashes and the authorities planned to cover the monument with a huge piece of plastic to prevent the ashes from contaminating the monument. However due to the size of the monument, the huge plastic sheet is only big enough to be used to cover the more important structures. Let’s wish them success.

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