BHAKTAPUR: A few minutes’ walk from the Changu Narayan bus park is Nepal’s first private museum — Changu Museum, established in 2000. Even after the April 25 quake, the Changu Museum is standing firm and welcoming visitors, though their number has decreased. Baishnab Raj Shrestha, Founder of Changu Museum shares, “The building is safe and nothing has happened to it.” Made of clay, wood and bricks, along with cemented beam, the museum is spread over an area — 41 ft by 21 ft. The three-storey museum with a basement, features interesting things related to Nepal’s history, culture, art and Newari tradition. Shrestha, who lost his house to the powerful tremblor, is currently taking shelter in the museum along with his eight family members. “Looking at the museum building, I have become confident that clay and wood houses are strong. I have seen many houses with pillar system razed from the base,” says Shrestha, who is determined “to use clay, wood and bricks while constructing my new house. The beam would be of cement. I noticed that a clay house is more flexible and moves with tremor as compared to concrete houses that are rigid and collapse.” Shrestha was inspired to open the museum in 1998 when the government declared the year as ‘Visit Nepal 98’to enhance the image of Nepal as a special destination for visitors. During that time he felt the need for a museum where the tourists coming to the Changu Narayan Temple — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — could also gain some knowledge about Nepal and Nepali culture. Moreover, Nepali people would also get employment opportunity because of this. There was double benefit of establishing a museum, thus, Shrestha with help of his friends and well-wishers founded the Changu Museum. Even after the destructive quake, the museum is serving both purposes, further strengthening Shrestha’s hope for a better future of the area. Giving a positive outlook regarding the destruction, Shrestha opines, “Once the temple premises is open to the public (it is closed post-earthquake), the completely destroyed tourism sector of this area will rise again. There are chances that foreigners who had visited this world heritage site earlier would return getting curious about how the place looks after the quake. And there are others who are just curious to see how an earthquake can destroy a place. So I see a bright future ahead.” While addressing the need for development of the entire nation, he stated, “If the government is determined, then nothing or no one could stop the development of our country. For many years, the government has only done the repair works of this heritage site. But this earthquake has taught a lesson that historically and culturally important structures must be timely renovated and protected. And there should not be any corruption during the renovation process.”