Visitor Restrictions to Borobudur Temple to Be Implemented for Preservation, Says Minister Erick Thohir

- 26 May 2023 19:23 WIB
Minister of SOEs Erick Thohir speaking to the press.
Minister of SOEs Erick Thohir speaking to the press.


JAKARTADAILY.ID – Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN), Erick Thohir, has emphasized that the long-debated visitor restrictions to Borobudur Temple will soon be put into effect to preserve one of the world's largest spiritual sites.

Erick made this announcement during a media briefing for the upcoming Full Waisak Festival scheduled to take place from May 30 to June 4, 2023, at the Ministry of BUMN on Thursday, May 25, 2023.

Highlighting the significance of Borobudur as an extraordinary heritage, Erick expressed concerns over potential damage to the site, which has garnered international attention. He cited examples of visitor restrictions already in place at other religious sites, such as the Nabawi Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

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Drawing from his personal experience during an Umrah pilgrimage, Erick recounted being restricted from entering Raudah, a part of the Nabawi Mosque believed to be the former home of the Prophet Muhammad. At that time, he was only granted 10 minutes in Raudah. The restrictions in place contributed to a more solemn atmosphere for worship and prayer.

Similarly, to ensure the peacefulness of worship rituals and the sustainable preservation of Borobudur, Erick stressed the necessity of implementing restrictions. He proposed a digitalization solution to manage visitor flow efficiently.

"With digital restrictions, queues for those who wish to climb to the top of the Borobudur temple will be organized. Only 150 people will be allowed to ascend at a time. Once they descend, another group will be allowed to ascend after 15 minutes," Erick explained.

Furthermore, visitors ascending the temple will be required to remove their shoes or sandals to maintain the structural integrity of the temple and prevent further erosion. Over time, the temple steps have worn down by up to 5 centimeters due to friction caused by footwear.

"It is irreplaceable if Borobudur is destroyed," added Erick, emphasizing the importance of preserving the site.

Zoning and Cultural Preservation

In addition to restrictions, a zoning approach will be implemented, involving the division of areas for religious and spiritual activities, content retrieval, and leisure. Cultural officers will be appointed to maintain balance and collaborate closely with local tourism schools to reinforce their work.

Erick warned that protecting Borobudur equates to safeguarding Indonesian culture and national treasures from destruction. He emphasized that Indonesia cannot progress without a strong cultural foundation. Thus, the preservation of Borobudur must begin with the understanding that it is not merely a tourist attraction but a spiritual symbol that must be conserved, as it represents the essence of Indonesia.

The management of Borobudur is overseen by PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan, and Ratu Boko, commonly known as PT PWC, a state-owned company operating within the BUMN In Journey cluster dedicated to managing tourism sites.


Editor: Suksmajati Kumara


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