UN body calls on DoA and KMC to take concrete steps to preserve cultural, historical significance of Ranipokhari
Kathmandu, September 6, 2016:Â Unesco has expressed serious concerns about inappropriate rebuilding of historic structures, in particular Ranipokhari in Kathmandu.
â€œIn a letter to the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and the Department of Archaeology (DoA) last week, Unesco had expressed its concerns about the inappropriate rebuilding of Ranipokhari,â€ the UNâ€™s cultural agency said in a statement. â€œSuch practice raises serious questions on the creditability of future heritage rebuilding in the Kathmandu Valley, including major sites such as Kasthamandap and Majudega of the Hanumandhoka Durbar Square Monument zone.â€
Ranipokhari and a temple at the centre of the pond, historic structures of religious importance dating back to 1670 AD, are considered among the most famous landmarks in Kathmandu. The Ranipokhari structure was massively damaged by earthquakes last year.
â€œSince the very beginning of the reconstruction, Unesco has stressed the importance of changing bidding procedures for historical monuments,â€ the UN body said.
Unescoâ€™s statement on Thursday comes days after the DoA asked KMC to halt Ranipokhari reconstruction, saying that use of concrete materials violated the archaeological norms.
Unesco has also appreciated the strong community involvement that first brought to attention the rebuilding of Ranipokhari.
Reiterating its offer to extend its full cooperation in identifying suitable solutions, Unesco has said: â€œWe trust that the KMC and the DoA will take concrete and effective steps to maintain and preserve the religious, cultural and historical significance of the Ranipokhari and the entire Kathmandu Valley.â€