Memory of the World is an international initiative launched to protect the documentary heritage of humanity from collective amnesia, neglect, time damage and climatic conditions. As well as to protect it from intentional destruction. This calls for the preservation of valuable archive ownership, collections of individual libraries and compendia all over the world.


Borobudur UNESCO rank


The authenticity of the documents for the restoration of the largest Buddhist temple in the world – the Borobudur – was carried out from 1973 to 1983 and became worthy and eligible for the UNESCO Memory of the World list. 


Temple restoration

The first stage restoration activities at the temple in Central Java were carried out in the Dutch colonial era between 1907 and 1911. This restoration was led by Theodoor van Erp, but he did little archiving.
In 1926 the authorities noticed that the Borobudur’s conditioned worsened because of the rapid changes of temperature during day and night, mechanical damage, damage through load pressure, and water seeping from inside the structure through the seams between the stones and through the stones themselves. This lead to continues attention and more improvements to maintain the structure.
Unfortunately, improvements in the conditions of the Borobudur were halted due to World War II, the war of Indonesian independence and political disturbances in the sixties of the twentieth century.

In 1949 Indonesia - just after Indonesia's independence - decided to cooperate with the United Nations Educational Scientifical and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) leading to a total restoration with international aid starting in 1973. This massive refurbishment cost USD 6,901,243.
Complete evidence such as photos, maps and scale images were collected as important documents. These documents are needed to get a nomination for the UNESCO Memory of the World list.


Borobudur temple - world cultural heritage

The Borobudur temple was built in the 9th century. It became a world's cultural heritage in 1991.The Borobudur temple has an important role because besides being one of Indonesia’s major tourist destination (about 4 million visitors a year), the temple  is still used as a place for various religious Buddhists ceremonies. Every year Waisak day - also known as Buddha day - is commemorated. Many visitors from all over Indonesia come together to be part of this event. Also international guests attend this day. 


Tour & travel with Smartine - to Java's famous spots

Are you looking for a tour to the Borobudur, we offer a 4 days tour including Indonesia's most famous temples.

Sources used: