Borobudur Restoration

Location

Magelang

Client

Government of Indonesia

 

During the early use of computer in Indonesia, there were already many invaluable experiences in the field of structure engineering; among others when there was a movement to rescue the world heritage of the temple of Borobudur. In 1973, the Borobudur Conservation Team was formed to safeguard this Buddhist monument. At that time Prof. Wiratman, who was the assistant of Prof. Roosseno, along with Prof. Soekmono, led the Borobudur restoration, which was funded by UNESCO and the government of Indonesia.

Two challenges faced the restoration team. First, how to match and where to put two million pieces of rocks and statues scattered in the area before they were reconstructed to the five levels of the restored temple. Second, how to overcome the possibility of earthquake during and after the restoration which may result in collapsing the temple considering that Borobudur Temple stood upon a hill.

Technological development made it possible for the team to solve the challenging problems they faced such as how to install a new foundation and drainage system, how to match and where to put 2 million pieces of rocks and statues scattered in the area before those were reconstructed to 5 levels of restored temple. Computer programs were used to assist the process so that in only 10 years the restoration project was accomplished. The restoration of Borobudur was a great achievement in the history of engineering in Indonesia.