Conservation workers remove ash from temples


The Central Java Cultural Heritage Conservation Center (BPCB) started on Monday to clean several temples affected by the Mount Kelud eruption.

The temples include Plaosan, Sewu, Sojiwan and Merak, which are located in the Prambanan temple area and are badly affected by volcanic ash.

Meanwhile, the cleaning of other temples in the province, such as Sukuh and Cetho in Karanganyar and Gedong Songo in Ungaran, is being carried out by each management unit.

The Borobudur, Mendut and Pawon temples are handled by the Borobudur Conservation Agency.

The BPCB deployed some 20 workers to clean the temples under its jurisdiction using sharpened bamboo sticks to loosen the ash before hosing them down with water.

The method is deemed effective in cleaning the temples.

“We are manually cleaning and hope to finish the job by Thursday or Friday,” BPCB protection, development and utilization section head Gutomo said on Monday.

PT Taman Wisata Candi (TWC) Borobudur, Prambanan and Ratu Boko spokesman’s, Martana Eka Rahardi, said Borobudur and Prambanan temples were still closed to the public on Monday.

He said the cleaning was carried out by workers from the BPCB while those of PT TWC were cleaning the supporting facilities in the tourist park area, the so-called Zone Two.

The main temples are in Zone One, which is under the jurisdiction of the BPCB.

Martana said he could not yet determine the losses inflicted at the park by the natural disaster.

He hoped tourists would be able to visit the tourism parks around Prambanan and Borobudur temples by Wednesday, although the temples themselves would remain closed.

Yogyakarta BPCB protection, development and utilization section head Wahyu Astuti said it would take about two months to clean Prambanan.
(Bambang Muryanto and Kusumasari Ayuningtyas, krb/nv)