UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova launched a new project for the recovery and rehabilitation of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site with the Minister of Culutre, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mr Ananda Prasad Pokharel upon her arrival in Kathmandu on April 18th. “Culture bears the soul of Nepali people,” says Bokova. The three-year project is the result of a partnership agreement with Hainan Province Cihang Foundation (Peoples’ Republic of China) that places priority on the recovery and rehabilitation of the monument zones of Hanumandhoka (Kathmandu) Durbar Square and Swayambhu, a Buddhist stupa complex.
“We must respond through culture because culture and cultural heritage are unparalleled forces of identity, belonging and renewal,’ said Ms Bokova. This is how we will do justice to the Nepalese people and all of humanity because this extraordinary heritage belongs to all of us”, says Bokova. He affirmed that Nepal will reconstruct over 100 damaged sites in the current fiscal year. Mr Pokharel, the minister of culture, tourism and Civil Aviation affirmed that over 100 damaged sites will be reconstructed in the current fiscal year.
The project will contribute to the restoration of local economy, also in creating new employment and training opportunities and reviving the potential for cultural tourism. It will also focus on efforts to enhance the capacity of national institutions in the areas of research and establish a data base of Nepal’s cultural heritage. ‘This is a unique potential to create jobs, improve livelihoods and foster economic development and cultural tourism. It is a unique opportunity to enhance the capacity of national institutions in research, documentation and conservation measures,’ said Ms Bokova. The project aims to ensure that the continuity of cultural practices, transmission of local knowledge and identity of communities in Nepal.
Bokava even praised Nepali people for showing resilience and determination during hard times. Coordinated by the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu, the project will be implemented with the Department of Archaeology, under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.UNESCO and the Hainan Province Cihang Foundation have already partnered to enhance quality education and gender equality in Africa and Asia.’