The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr. Guido Westerwelle, Visits the Borobudur Temple Compounds on 10 February 2013
On 10 February 2013, H.E. Mr. Guido Westerwelle, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, visited the World Heritage listed Borobudur Temple Compounds to meet with people involved in the preservation efforts at the temple and see some of the conservation challenges and achievements first hand. H.E. Mr. Guido Westerwelle was accompanied by H. E. Mrs. Wiendu Nuryanti, Indonesian Vice Minister for Cultural Affairs of the Ministry of Education and Culture; H.E. Dr. Georg Witschel, the German Ambassador to Indonesia; H.E. Mr. Dian Triansyah Djani, Director General for America and Europe of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Hubert Gijzen, Director of UNESCO Office in Jakarta; and Mr. Purnomo Siswoprasetijo, President Director of PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan & Ratu Boko.
Following a tour of the temple, H. E. Mrs. Wiendu Nuryanti thanked the Minister for visiting the Borobudur Temple and for the generous support of the Federal Republic of Germany in supporting research and conservation techniques at the Borobudur Temple. H. E. Mrs. Wiendu Nuryanti conveyed her hopes that the cooperation to conserve the Borobudur Temple Compounds can continue on in the future. H.E. Mr. Guido Westerwelle commented that the German government is very pleased to support efforts to conserve the Borobudur Temple Compounds and hopes this can help ensure the temple’s preservation for centuries to come. The tour ended with the unveiling of an information board detailing conservation projects at the Borobudur Temple Compounds, followed by a lunch gathering hosted by the UNESCO Office in Jakarta.
Since 2011, the Federal Republic of Germany has provided generous financial contributions through UNESCO, to support the Indonesian government in implementing research and conservation techniques at Borobudur. In consultation with the Indonesian authorities, UNESCO appointed Prof. Dr. Hans Leisen (stone conservation expert from the Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences), Dr Esther von Plehwe-Leisen (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 (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 further investigate the state of conservation at Borobudur.
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 Borobudur Conservation Office (BCO) and supported by the UNESCO Office in Jakarta. The activities of the experts were executed with the twofold approach of conservation investigation and action, combined with training in best practice conservation approaches and equipment. This strategy was designed to support the requests of the Indonesian authorities, especially the BCO, to help ensure the preservation of the Borobudur temple following the 2010 Mt. Merapi eruption.
As part of this collaborative project, a number of significant conservation, research and capacity building actions have already been achieved. Some of the key results achieved include: the development and testing of adapted conservation materials and techniques for conservation intervention at Borobudur; the identification of a number of different stone varies and deterioration patterns at the temple; the analysis of drainage and structural issues at the temple; ‘in situ’ capacity building training delivered (as part of each mission) to over 20 national staff of the BCO on new analysis techniques and equipment relating to stone conservation and structural analysis, as well as the participation of around 50 heritage professionals and community members in stone conservation workshops delivered by German stone conservation experts.
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