Unesco launches new reconstruction projectUnesco on Monday launched a new three-year project in partnership with China’s Hainan Province Cihang Foundation for rehabilitation of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site.
Unesco on Monday launched a new three-year project in partnership with China’s Hainan Province Cihang Foundation for rehabilitation of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site.
The project places priority on the recovery and rehabilitation of the monument zones of Hanumandhoka Durbar Square and Swoyambhu—a Buddhist stupa complex, Unesco said in a statement. The Unesco Office in Kathmandu will coordinate with the Department of Archaeology, under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, for the implementation of the project. Speaking at the launching of the project on Monday, Unesco Director-General Irina Bokova said culture bears the soul of the Nepali people. “We must respond through culture because culture and cultural heritage are unparalleled forces of identity, belonging and renewal,” she said.
“This is how we will do justice to the Nepalese people and all of humanity because this extraordinary heritage belongs to all of us.”
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ananda Prasad Pokharel said that cultural heritage is what is most important for the identity of Nepal. Expressing gratitude to all donors for their support, he assured that Nepal will reconstruct over 100 damaged sites this fiscal year. The Hainan Province Cihang Foundation will contribute to the restoration of local economy, creating new employment and training opportunities and reviving the potential for cultural tourism. It will also focus on efforts to enhance the capacity of national institutions in the areas of research and establish a data base of Nepal’s cultural heritage.
“This is a unique potential to create jobs, improve livelihoods and foster economic development and cultural tourism. It is a unique opportunity to enhance the capacity of national institutions in research, documentation and conservation measures,” said Bokova. “In all this, we do not seek only to rebuild heritage. We aim to ensure the continuity of cultural practices, the transmission of local knowledge, the continuity of the identity of communities.”
She commended the people of Nepal for their determination and underlined the importance of preserving their cultural heritage and its outstanding universal values in restoration efforts.
The earthquakes in April and May of 2015 affected about 2,900 heritage structures with cultural and religious value within the Kathmandu valley as and in the north-western region of Nepal. Out of 691 damaged sites, 131 were destroyed in the worst natural disaster to have hit the country in 80 years.