13.05.2013 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Indonesia, H.E. Mr. Georg Witschel, Visits the Borobudur Conservation Office, 10 May 2013

On the 10th of May 2013, H.E. Mr. Georg Witschel, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Indonesia, visited the Borobudur Conservation Office (BCO). H.E. Mr. Georg Witschel met with the Head of Borobudur Conservation Office, Dr. Marsis Sutopo, experts involved in the conservation efforts at the Borobudur Temple, as well as Ms. Nurdina Prasetyo, UNESCO’s Project Coordinator for Borobudur.

Dr. Marsis Sutopo welcomed H.E. Mr. Georg Witschel and thanked him for the generous contributions from the Federal Republic of Germany through UNESCO, to support the Indonesian government in their research and conservation efforts at Borobudur. Mr. Nahar Cahyandaru, BCO expert in heritage conservation, then delivered a short presentation about the history of the temple’s restoration activities, the current conservation programme of BCO and UNESCO’s projects in Borobudur.

Mr. Nahar Cahyandaru outlined that the BCO had been collaborating with UNESCO appointed experts Prof. Dr. Hans Leisen (a stone conservation expert from the Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences, Germany), Dr Esther von Plehwe-Leisen (a stone conservation expert and lecturer for the Cologne University of Applied Sciences and specialist for conservation and restoration, Laboratory of Stone Conservation Cologne), Dr Eberhard Wendler (a chemical engineering specialist and Director of the Munich Stone Conservation Laboratories) and Dr Ichita Shimoda (Technical Advisor for the Japanese Government Team for Safeguarding Angkor Monument) to investigate the state of conservation at Borobudur. After the presentation Dr. Marsis Sutopo conveyed his hope that potential young experts of BCO could someday visit conservation research centres in Germany to study more from the experts there.

The visit ended with a tour of the Museum of History of Restoration at Borobudur Temple located inside the BCO complex. Dr. Marsis Sutopo acted as a guide to H.E. Mr. Georg Witschel and explained about the wider history of the conservation of Borobudur from the colonial period until now, the various equipment used in conservation activities, and developments in conservation techniques and methods over time.

Since 2011, the Federal Republic of Germany has provided a series of generous financial contributions through UNESCO, to support the Indonesian government in implementing research and conservation techniques at Borobudur. In 2012 four separate expert missions to Borobudur Temple Compounds were undertaken as part of the project, all of which were supervised by Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture through the BCO and supported by the UNESCO Office in Jakarta.

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