Saturday, October 24, 2009

Java Jamboree: Sad Stories on the Walls

No one in the world except the Javanese perhaps would know about Borobudur if not for Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles and no one would catch a glimpse of it too if not for the Dutch-Flemish engraver, Isidore van Kinsbergen, the latter having provided the world with its first photograph. Java was occupied by the British right after the Anglo-Dutch Java War. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles was elected governor and during his tenure, he was informed of the abandoned Buddhist monument by natives. He then sent a Dutch engineer, H. C. Cornelius who with 200 men cut down trees, burned down vegetation and dug away the earth to reveal Borobudur. Following that, much excavation and restoration were done and if you were to visit Borobudur today, you'd notice that some of the bas reliefs which c0ver the facades tell tales on this later era. No, it's not simply the statues and carvings were well cleaned and free from mosses; it's more of the bas reliefs turning brown and being eaten not by acid rain but really- our guide said that the Dutch, when taking photographs of the bas reliefs, had applied some sort of chemicals on them to highlight the carvings. Sob! These ate the stones and well we have these...

Sad stories on the walls...








Traveling Tip: Listen to the walls wail!

2 comments:

Liudmila said...

The first explorers served for good surelly. But they had rudimental technologies. Today the scientist prefere burry the excavation if they are not able to discover it.

footiam said...

what remained buried is lost forever.Maybe, modern scientist are lazy.

Have another serving of Travel Pangs!