‘UNESCO does not allow construction in or around heritage sites’

Kathmandu, January 10

UNESCO has said that it does not allow construction in or around a World Heritage site as this is the role of the national authorities concerned, Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Department of Archaeology.

When UNESCO receives information with concerns about World Heritage Sites, it verifies the information with concerned parties.

UNESCO said this responding to reports that it allowed the construction of a commercial complex at Hanumandhoka.

“In the case mentioned by the reports, UNESCO was informed at a late stage when the basement structure had already been excavated. UNESCO therefore immediately transmitted the information to the Department of Archaeology and secretary at the Ministry of Culture, and as the construction was already advancing, it drew attention of the building owner to existing regulations,” read a press release issued by UNESCO.

“UNESCO then examined if this construction presented any adverse impact to the outstanding universal values of the Hanumandhoka World Heritage site.

Our examinations revealed that the building was situated outside the World Heritage Core Zone, and it seemed that the owner had obtained necessary legal permission from the authorities.

The plans of a four-story building, which we were shown, seemed to respect the authorised height and its design matched better than the previous concrete building with the historic environment,” it added.

UNESCO therefore noted that at this stage it did not see any negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Values of the world heritage site, the release said.

UNESCO, however, urged the concerned authorities to investigate and take actions as necessary.

According to the release, UNESCO is a keen advocate for the preservation of Nepal’s cultural heritage and, jointly with Department of Archaeology, is carrying out many projects for post-earthquake restoration of cultural heritage.