Master plan for monuments in the offing

Secy to head Palace Museum and Republic Memorial Management, Operation Board 

Kathmandu, March 11

The government has decided to prepare an integrated master plan for Narayanhiti Palace Museum, Keshar Mahal and Republic Memorial Park.

A meeting of stakeholder agencies including Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, National Reconstruction Authority, Department of Archaeology and Narayanhiti Palace Museum held yesterday had made a decision to this effect.

Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai was also present at the meeting. Retrofitting of Kantipath-based historic Keshar Mahal, which was badly damaged in the 2015 earthquakes is under way. Central Level Project Implementation Unit of the NRA had signed a contract worth Rs 672,46 million with ZCGI-Khani Joint Venture to retrofit Keshar Mahal in November last year.

According to the NRA, Keshar Mahal will be restored to its original form by making it earthquake-resilient.

The neo-classical building of Keshar Mahal was built by Keshar Shumsher, son of Chandra Shumsher in 1895. It housed a popular library and other offices before the earthquake.

Construction of the Republic Memorial located on the premises of the museum is nearing completion. Separate monuments have been dedicated to all the persons who attained martyrdom during the Maoist insurgency and those who are still unaccounted for.

Reconstruction of parts of the museum damaged by the earthquake is also taking place.

The government had recently issued Narayanhiti Palace Museum and Republic Memorial Management and Operation Development Board Formation Order-2019, to protect and promote the museum and memorial, and oversee management and operation of the property. As per the order, there shall be a five-member Narayanhiti Palace Museum and Republic Memorial Management and Operation Board headed by secretary of the MoCTCA. Other office-bearers include representatives from Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Department of Archaeology and executive director of the board.

Functions and duties of the board are to develop the museum and memorial as historical and cultural heritage of the nation, formulate and implement short-term and long-term policies for their protection and promotion, fix entrance fee for general public, put objects of archaeological and cultural significance on display for public and maintain coordination with the local level.

The order also stipulates a provision of an executive director to act as an administrative chief of the museum and memorial.

The government will appoint the executive director through open competition by inviting application from eligible candidates. Tenure of the executive director shall be four years and s/he may be re-appointed.