Mount Merapi ash threatens world's oldest Buddhist temple
Acid in the volcanic ash that has rained down on Java island since Mount Merapi erupted last week may damage the world's oldest Buddhist temple - a major Indonesian tourist destination - an official said Saturday, reported dpa.
Ash up to 3-centimetres deep has covered the Borobudur temple, and the acidity could erode the temple's stones, said Marsis Sutopo, head of the Borobudur Heritage Conservation.
"The volcanic ash must be cleaned because it can accelerate the decay of the temple's stones," Sutopo was quoted as saying by the state-run Antara news agency.
"In the next few days we'll do the technical evaluation for the cleaning process," he added.
Pujo Suwarno, head of Borobudur's tourism park, said the temple was again closed down for visitors temporarily after volcanic ash covered the temple following the Merapi volcano's powerful eruptions on Friday.
He said when the clean up is completed the visitors would be allowed to visit the temple early next week - but they still not be permitted to climb to the temple.