6 Dec 2010

Volcanic ash threatens heritage temple

9:53 am on 6 December 2010

Archaeologists say the recent eruptions of Indonesia's Mt Merapi are threatening to cause permanent damage to an ancient Buddhist temple.

The World Heritage-listed site at Borobudur, in central Java, was covered in volcanic ash when the volcano began erupting in October.

South East Asian art expert and archaeologist Toni Tak says the temple contains bas-reliefs which related the life of Buddha.

She says the volcanic ash has got into the bas-reliefs, and when it rains the ash sets like cement.

Ms Tak says the monument attracts 800, 000 visitors a year and is vital to the local economy.