06.09.2013 - UNESCO Office in Kathmandu

International symposium to safeguard outstanding universal value of Lo Manthang in early November

©HimalAsia Foundation/ S. von der Heide -Landscape view of Lo Manthang

The mystic medieval walled city of Lo Manthang in Nepal’s Trans-Himalayan Mustang district will be in the focus of an international symposium on 1 and 2 November 2013 in Kathmandu. The event, entitled “Safeguarding Lo Manthang and the cultural landscape of Upper Mustang” intends to assess the outstanding cultural, spiritual and natural values of the city and cultural landscape surrounding it.

The outstanding universal values of Lo Manthang are increasingly coming under threat from various factors, for example greater accessibility to the site to the hitherto very remote areas, the impact of climate change and social transformation. However, both the tangible and the intangible assets of the site can be powerful drivers for the development of the whole Upper Mustang region.

“We hope that the symposium will help to foster dialogue among representatives of the communities living in and around Lo Manthang and other stakeholders, including scholars and academia in order to develop a better understanding of the site and to explore how its unique heritage can be protected and harnessed for sustainable development” says Axel Plathe , UNESCO Representative to Nepal and Head of UNESCO Office in Kathmandu.

The symposium will gather national and international experts on natural and cultural heritage and members of the Lopa community. It includes sessions to broaden the knowledge about Lo Manthang, in particular related to its history and artworks, to present on-going conservation initiatives, to address the challenges faced by the site through recent rapid cultural change and to consider Lo Manthang in comparison with other heritage sites in the region.The discussions will take into consideration the perspectives of the community, and of national and international experts.  

The earthen walled city of Lo Manthang was included by Nepal on the Tentative List of the World Heritage in 2008. 

The symposium is being organized jointly by the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu, Nepal’s Department of Archaeology, the HimaAsia Foundation and the Kathmandu University with funding from the Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance, Paris, France.

More information on the symposium at  http://www.unesco.org/new/en/kathmandu/culture/symposium-on-safeguarding-lo-manthang-1-and-2-november-2013/

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