International symposium to safeguard outstanding universal value of Lo Manthang
The preservation of the mystic medieval walled city of Lo Manthang in Nepal’s Trans-Himalayan Mustang district is on the agenda of the international symposium “Safeguarding Lo Manthang and the cultural landscape of Upper Mustang” that takes place on 1 and 2 November 2013 in Kathmandu. The event is a joint initiative of the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu, Nepal’s Department of Archaeology, the HimalAsia Foundation and Kathmandu University. It is funded by the Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance, Paris, France.
The symposium, during which twenty five experts from eight countries will present papers on a great variety of issues related to Lo Manthang, aims at assessing the outstanding cultural, natural and spiritual value of the area, as well as exploring how this unique heritage can be protected and harnessed for sustainable development.
The two day event will include presentations on the history of Upper Mustang and the influence and impact of art development, the perception of local communities regarding change, and of comparative studies of similar sites. The final session will explore the possibilities of Lo Manthang becoming a World Heritage Property, including the presentation of options of nominations.
“The symposium will foster the dialogue among representatives of the communities living in and around Lo Manthang and experts that we need to safeguard the uniqueness of Lo Manthang”, says Axel Plathe, UNESCO Representative to Nepal and Head of UNESCO Office in Kathmandu.
Lo Manthang’s heritage is increasingly coming under threat, for example by a greater accessibility to the site to the hitherto very remote areas and the impacts of climate change and social transformation. In this context, the tangible and the intangible heritage of Lo Manthang and its surrounding must urgently be preserved and used for the development of the entire Upper Mustang region.
The earthen walled city of Lo Manthang was included by Nepal on the Tentative List of the World Heritage in 2008.
The organizers expect around 70 experts, including members of the Lopa community from Lo Manthang and government representatives, to participate in the event.
For media inquiries, please contact:
UNESCO Office in Kathmandu
Tel: +977 1 555 4396, Ext: 26
Fax: +977 1 555 4450
Kathmandu, 22 October 2013
Press Release UNESCO/KAT 17/2013
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