UNESCO releases project report on Lumbini’s conservation and management
UNESCO has now released a comprehensive set of reports of the three-year project “Strengthening conservation and management of Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, World Heritage Property". The project that was launched in 2010 was implemented by the UNESCO Kathmandu Office in close cooperation with the Department of Archaeology (DoA) and the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) with funding from the Japanese Funds-in-Trust for the Preservation of the World Cultural Heritage.
The seven volume set includes a summary report and six more detailed reports on project achievements including the results of archaeological investigations. The project has produced a number of significant results supporting Nepal in its efforts to preserve Lord Buddha’s birthplace, which was inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1997.
New excavations within the Mayadevi Temple of Buddha’s birthplace have revealed for the first time in South Asia, evidence of a series of shrines dating back to sixth century BCE. Until now, the earliest Buddhist temples known were built by Emperor Ashoka in the third century BCE, as evidenced by the Ashokan Pillar and brick built temple in Lumbini.
The project enhanced the conservation of the three most emblematic monuments of Lord Buddha’s birthplace, namely the Marker Stone, the Nativity Sculpture and the Ashoka Pillar.
It established an operational plan for the implementation of the Kenzo Tange Master Plan for the Sacred Garden and confirmed the continuous relevance of the Plan prepared in 1978.
It prepared an integrated management framework to conserve the outstanding universal value of Lumbini. The World Heritage Committee specifically requested Nepal to establish a management plan for Lumbini since 2002, which ensures the protection of the World Heritage values of the site.
The activities of the project strengthened the institutional capacity of the national experts from the DOA and the LDT through improvement of the knowledge and skills of conservation personnel and archaeological staff.
The second phase of the project extending the scope to Tilaurakot, the archaeological remains of ancient Shakya Kingdom and Ramagrama, the relic stupa of the Lord Buddha, is expected to begin soon.
The reports are available at: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/resources/publications/
Links to download the reports:
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