Alongside war and terrorism, it is primarily natural disasters that are responsible for destroying cultural property. They thus pose a threat to humanity’s cultural heritage and cultural diversity. For this reason, Germany is engaged worldwide in the protection, preservation and reconstruction of cultural heritage.
Together with UNESCO, the Federal Foreign Office is working to preserve one of the most important World Cultural Heritage sites, the Borobudur Temple Compounds in Indonesia. On Friday (3 November), the project will be brought to a successful conclusion after 6 years of support and the restored Temple Compounds will be opened again to the public in an official ceremony.
Maria Böhmer, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, stated:
With this project, UNESCO and the Federal Foreign Office is supporting the preservation of one of the most important World Cultural Heritage sites, the Borobudur Temple Compounds. With its global commitment to preserving culture, Germany is promoting and making an important contribution to intercultural dialogue. Through its Cultural Preservation Programme, the Federal Foreign Office has supported some 2800 projects in 144 countries since 1981. These include work to preserve historical cultural property as well as German cultural heritage abroad. Care is taken to ensure the local population, experts and partners on the ground are involved in the work and benefit from basic and further training in the spheres of conservation, restoration and digitisation.
Like no other, this Temple embodies religious pluralism in Indonesia. Alongside its religious and cultural significance, it is one of Indonesia's most popular attractions and also bears important witness to the country’s cultural identity.
In 2010, the compound was covered by volcanic ash during an eruption, damaging the rock structure of the elaborate reliefs and numerous Buddha sculptures. Since 2011, the German conservation experts Prof. Leisen und Dr von Plehwe-Leisen have been using cultural preservation funding for a joint project with UNESCO to repair the damage and conserve the rock. Workshops and seminars are provided for staff to ensure they receive expert training.