The Kathmandu Valley was inscribed on the World Heritage List in October 1979 with seven Monument Zones: the Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, the Hindu temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan, and the Buddhist stupa complexes of Swayambhu and Bauddhanath.
The seven monument zones face challenges due to lack of enforcement of regulations established under the Integrated Management Framework (IMF) and lack of regulation under the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA). The Office partnered with the Department of Archaeology to strengthen monitoring and coordination mechanisms.
The Office published Revisiting Kathmandu. Safeguarding Living Urban Heritage, proceedings of an International Symposium held from 25 to 29 November 2013. The publication contains important recommendations on rebuilding activities of heritage structures damaged by 2015 earthquakes.
Hanumandhoka Durbar Square
Sorting and storing elements from the destroyed temples
Following the earthquakes, wooden elements like doors, windows, posts, beams etc. were salvaged from the rubble of the destroyed monuments from the Hanumandhoka Durbar Square. However, these elements were piled in heaps in 26 different areas. The Office sorted and stored all these elements. They have been cleaned, properly documented and sorted in respect to particular temples and parts of them. At present, these elements are stored and well protected within the Hanumandhoka Palace Museum.
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Restoration of Jagannath and Gopinath Temples
Jagannath Temple and Gopinath Temple (also known as Srikrishna Mahavishnu Temple) situated at the Hanumandhoka Durbar Square were partially damaged by the 2015 earthquakes. UNESCO, in close cooperation with the Department of Archaeology, is restoring these temples with the funds from Japanese Funds-in-Trust and the Nepal Investment Bank Limited.
Both temples will be thoroughly strengthened to withstand disasters in the future. Archaeological excavation of the plinths of the two temples is also being done at present with the help of Durham University and Department of Archaeology. It is also an opportunity to study the foundations of both temples and take necessary action if required.
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Swayambhu Monument zone
Stability and landslide risk of Swayambhu hills
UNESCO carried out essential research on the stability and landslide risk of the two Swayambhu hills, and supported sealing of the cracks of the main Stupa before the monsoon.
The Tashi Gomang stupa
The first thing done for the rehabilitation of Tashi Gomang stupa was to remove rubbles and debris carefully and to salvage all artefacts.
Between 2015 and 2016, more than 450 artefacts (coins, terracotta sculptures, jewelleries, etc.) and one ton of small votive clay sculptures were excavated from the collapsed Tashi Gomang Stupa. This work was conducted in close collaboration with the Department of Archaeology and executed with the Buddhist priests of Swayambhu.
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The Shantipur Temple
The heavily damaged Shantipur temple was shored and protected against collapse. Priceless mural paintings from the temple were carefully removed under the guidance of a renowned international expert and brought for restoration and safekeeping to the National Museum. On the job training of Nepali conservators on safe removal, relocation and conservation of mural paintings of the Buddhist text, Svayambhūpurāna, from the Shantipur Temple, is being conducted with funding from Fok Ying Tung Foundation, Hong Kong.
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