World heritage day : Call for a separate ministry to conserve cultural heritage

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 18:

President of the Nepal Council of World Affairs and Nepal’s former representative to the UNESCO, Keshav Raj Jha, today demanded that the government set up a separate ministry

for culture to give momentum to conservation of cultural heritage. “It is ridiculous that Nepal, which is known in the world for its rich cultural heritage, does not have a separate ministry for culture, and the government makes culture a football by randomly placing it under the domain of education and sports, science or transportation ministry,” he said. Addressing a function organised to mark the World Heritage Day, he said the UNESCO’s decision of put Kathmandu Valley monuments in the list of “Monuments in Danger” was the result of the government’s sheer negligence to the repeated recommendations from the international bodies to conserve the world heritage sites.

The function was jointly organised by Nepal Heritage Society, Nepal Tourism Board, Hotel Association of Nepal, CERID, TU and Folk Music Instrument Museum. VC of Royal Nepal Academy, Dr Basudev Tripathi, said though international support for heritage conservation is welcomed, it is the Nepal government and its citizens who are responsible for preserving their cultural heritage. Chairman of Nepal Heritage Society, Bishwakanta Mainali, stressed on the need of government commitment and civic society’s support to keep the country’s cultural heritage alive. Representative from the Department of Archaeology, Rajesh Bhakta Mathema, urged all stakeholders to work together to stop the monuments from further deterioration.