Conservation of archaeological remains in Lumbini begins with support from UNESCO and the Government of Japan
An international team of experts is currently in Lumbini to prepare for the conservation of archeological remains at the birthplace of Lord Buddha, a world-renowned Buddhist pilgrimage destination and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997.
The team, led by Italian conservator Costantino Meucci, will prepare a conservation campaign for the Marker Stone, the Nativity Sculpture and the Ashoka Pillar, which is scheduled to start later this year.
They will also use specialist equipment to gauge the impact of the micro-climate on the archaeological remains inside the Maya Devi Temple.
The conservation team is composed of international and national experts, including specialists from the Department of Archaeology and the Lumbini Development Trust.
The conservation is part of a larger project titled “Strengthening the Conservation and Management of Lumbini, the Birthplace of Lord Buddha”, which was launched in 2010 to address a number of issues and challenges facing the World Heritage Site.
These range from the deteriorating condition of the ruins contained within the Maya Devi Temple to the inadequately understood and mapped archaeological remains, both within the site and in the adjacent buffer zone, such as the village mound.
The project is funded by the Government of Japan through the Japanese-Funds-in-Trust for the Preservation of the World’s Cultural Heritage, and co-ordinated by the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu.
The three year conservation programme will focus on the conservation of Mauryan structures and the archaeological stratigraphic cross-section in the Maya Devi Temple, the Marker Stone, the Ashoka Pillar and the Nativity Sculpture, monitoring the microclimate in the Maya Devi Temple and building the capacity of the Lumbini Development Trust and the Department of Archaeology.
Earlier this year, an international team of archaeologists lead by Robin Coningham, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Archaeology at Durham University, UK, began a three-year survey of the archeological vestiges in Lumbini.
Full details of the project can be viewed by accessing:
Kathmandu, 8 February 2011
Press Release UNESCO/KAT 03/2011
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