Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 December 2019
This chapter explores the transformations of Chinese and Balinese sacred objects into heritage, against the background of centralisation efforts and the state-supported reconstruction of the Siva temple at Prambanan (Central Java) across regime changes. It explains the relation between stronger centralisation and the strengthening of local heritage dynamics. Next, it discusses the impact of the Pacific War and decolonisation on local and centralised heritage practices, as well as on long-term foreign engagements with sites located in Indonesia. Gauging the colonial nature of post-colonial heritage politics, it shows how in colonial times professional and state-supported archaeology led to the consolidation of certain structures and methods of heritage formation in such a way that subsequent regimes could easily take over. An important related topic is the way in which research, collecting, conservation, and reconstruction activities were intimately connected to the development of social hierarchies and processes of (racial) marginalisation.