Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 December 2019
This chapter explores biographies of Borobudur and other Hindu–Buddhist material remains of the past in Java in the context of widening knowledge networks, religious revivalism, and tourism from within and outside Java, which also stimulated the colonial state to institutionalise archaeological care and protection. Via the visit of King Chulalongkorn of Siam to Borobudur in 1896, and via the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900, it analyses the exchanges of knowledge and objects taking place there. It follows Borobudur’s Buddha statues and other Javanese Hindu–Buddhist objects travelling as gifts along with the king to Siam, where they transformed into objects of popular Buddhism and legitimation of Siam’s Buddhist dynasty. And it follows plaster casts of Borobudur reliefs to France and Britain, exploring parallel heritage dynamics, in Greater Dutch and Greater British Indian geographies. Thanks to the uncovered treasure of a guestbook of Borobudur (1888–1898), and the diary of a Javanese nobleman, they, moreover, broaden the social scope of Borobudur with site impressions of a growing number of visitors to Borobudur, from as far away as the United States and Australia, but also – and mostly – from Java.