Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 December 2019
This chapter explores how anxieties about ‘loss’ influenced cultural heritage dynamics in post-colonial Indonesia. Following the perspective of various interested parties inside and outside Indonesia, it reveals how and why these parties, at different locations, developed different attitudes to the difficult pasts they all have been part of in various ways. Returning to Borobudur, the chapter revisits Dutch, Indonesian, Indian, Japanese, and international heritage engagements and appropriations of sites located in Indonesia in the period from the late 1920s well into the 1980s. It scrutinises the impact of post-war UNESCO politics and the Save Borobudur campaign in President Soeharto’s New Order Indonesia of the 1970s and 1980s on mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion at location. Numerous dynamic processes reveal the fragility of ownership of sites transforming into heritage across war and regime changes. Decolonisation stimulated strong emotional and moral passions for restoration, but Dutch post-colonial, inter-Asian, and international interests inflect Borobudur’s national Indonesian character.