14.11.2017 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

UNESCO and the Federal Republic of Germany Empowered Indonesian Temple Conservators Through Borobudur Conservation Exchange Workshop

Photo credit: Red R Indonesia

A “Borobudur Conservation Exchange Workshop” was organized by UNESCO Office, Jakarta and the Borobudur Conservation Office (BCO) at Borobudur (Magelang, Central Java) on 1-3 November 2017. The Workshop, which was held under the project theme “6th Stage Capacity building for the Conservation of the Borobudur Temple Compounds 2017”, was conducted as a final capacity development intervention financially supported by the Federal Republic of Germany for the long-term conservation of the Borobudur World Heritage site. For the past seven years since 2011 the Federal Republic of Germany has generously provided over 700,000 Euro to assist the Ministry of Education and Culture and its Borobudur Conservation Office in responding to the significant disruptions of the Borobudur Temple caused by the 2010 eruption of Mount Merapi and the 2014 eruption of Mount Kelud.

During the three days workshop, Prof. Dr. Hans Leisen (stone conservation expert from the Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences, Germany), Dr. Esther von Plehwe-Leisen (stone conservation expert from the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Germany), Dipl.-Ing. Mike Boege (Specialists for Water Drainage Systems, Germany) and Dr. Richard Fuchs (Specialist for Archive Management, Germany) shared their knowledge and experiences on various conservation techniques. Their presentations were also co-facilitated by the senior conservator team from BCO, while showcasing the results of joint scientific work done between BCO and the German experts for the last few years. Mr. Nahar Cahyandaru, Mr. Leliek Agung Haldoko and Mr. Panggah Ardiansyah  who are experts from the Borobudur Conservation Office facilitated group discussions between the training particiapnts and the German technical experts on Stone Conservation; Water Drainage Management in Borobudur, including geohydrology at Borobudur; and Archive Management.

The workshop was officially opened by Mr. Marsis Sutopo (Head of the Borobudur Conservation Office), and Mr. Marc Seemann (Third Secretary, Cultural and Press Affairs, Embassy of the Federal Republic of German, Jakarta).

Mr. Marsis Sutopo thanked the support provided by the Federal Republic of Germany and UNESCO Office, Jakarta in responding to the needs of the Borobudur Conservation Office for enhanced knowledge on how to deal with the effects and impacts of the eruptions of Mount Merapi, which heavily affected the Borobudur Temple Compounds at the time. The project has been very useful in developing the capacity of BCO Staff in conducting conservation measures at the Borobudur Temple Compounds.

Mr. Marc Seemann stated that the Federal Republic of Germany is very pleased with the results achieved through the series of collaboration projects with UNESCO and BCO for the last 7 years.

The workshop which was  organized in partnership with UNESCO’s local partner, RedR Indonesia, was attended by 46 participants from various heritage preservation offices, conservation students, disaster management experts and local government offices in Indonesia. The workshop was attended by not only Indonesian conservators from Yogyakarta and Central Java, but also many conservators from East Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan.

One of the workshop participants, Mr. Edy Gunawan (Head of the Conservation and Maintenance Unit of the the Heritage Preservation Office of East Kalimantan) stated that the workshop provided very useful sessions demonstrating the need to more greatly introduce the use of modern technological tools at World Heritage Sites as it will significantly assist conservation efforts conducted at the sites. He also commended that the technical experts who delivered the sessions were highly experienced, knowledgeable, and master the latest technologies in monitoring and conserving heritage sites. Mr. Gunawan shared that, as a conservator, the workshop had been very inspiring for him.

The “Borobudur Conservation Exchange Workshop” is a continuation of the conservation training series that were funded by the Federal Republic of Germany over 2011-2017. During this period, UNESCO Office, Jakarta has organized more than six (6) training seminars which have aimed to strengthen collaborative partnerships among temple conservators in Indonesia, demonstrate the benefits of the German-Indonesia cooperation in safeguarding World Heritage, and showcase various conservation techniques that have been introduced and applied over the years through the project at the Borobudur Temple Compounds.

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