UNESCO concerned about reconstruction of world heritage sites

Kathmandu, November 3

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has expressed concern about the rebuilding of historical world heritage sites in Kathmandu Valley.

Christian Manhart, UNESCO representative to Nepal, expressed his concern about reconstruction of historical monuments through questionable tender process and use of highly debatable concrete materials.

According to UNESCO, the newly reconstructed Bouddhanath has now acquired a heavy concrete platform which was declared to be structurally unsound by experts. A team is reportedly preparing to come to Nepal to study the reconstruction of the historical sites damaged during last year’s earthquake.

Only two months ago, UNESCO had expressed concern regarding the reconstruction of Rani Pokhari, a historic structure of religious importance dating back to 1670 AD.

“Such practice raises serious questions on the credibility of future heritage rebuilding in the city, including major sites such as Kasthamandap and Majudega of the Hanumandhoka Durbar Square Monument zone,” it said.

Since the very beginning of reconstruction, UNESCO has stressed during meetings and letters addressed to the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and National Reconstruction Authority, the importance of changing bidding procedures for historical monuments.