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International meet dwells on urban heritage preservation


KATHMANDU: An international symposium, ‘Revisiting Kathmandu-Safeguarding living urban heritage’, is set to take place in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur from November 25 to 29.

The organisers of the symposium are UNESCO and Nepal National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS Nepal). According to the UNESCO Nepal, the symposium will discuss how to maintain the delicate balance between conserving what provides the historic city its intrinsic character and value while at the same time allowing the change that is required for a city to sustain its social and economic vibrancy.

“The symposium takes place in a context where the understanding of heritage is changing to include not only monuments, but entire cities where people live, work, worship and celebrate festivals,” said Axel Plathe, UNESCO Representative to Nepal.

“As values and aspirations of the society are changing, the urban spaces must adapt and respond to this change,” said Kai Weise, President of ICOMOS Nepal. The symposium, which is going to be organised by the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu and the ICOMOS Nepal, together with a number of partners, including the Department of Archaeology and the International Scientific Committee for Risk Preparedness of ICOMOS, Nepal, will begin with an inaugural ceremony on the evening of November 25 and will be followed by a series of workshops over the next four days.

During each of the four main days of the symposium, the participants will discuss conservation of living urban heritage based on four different themes and each day the venue will shift to a different monument zone of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage property, UNESCO Nepal said.

In Lalitpur, the theme will be “Authenticity”, in Pashupati “Heritage Management”, in Bhaktapur “Community involvement” and in Kathmandu “Disaster risk reduction”.

The conference will contribute to international discussion on the best way to safeguard living urban heritage, taking into account theoretical understanding as well as practical approaches.

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