UNESCO workshop to conserve, develop monument zones
KATHMANDU, Nov 24: UNESCO is to organize an international symposium on the theme ‚ÄúRevisiting Kathmandu‚ÄĚ, in a bid to conserve and maintain the monument zones included in its world heritage list.
The symposium aims to plan the maintenance of the heritage sites so that modern development of these areas continues along with their conservation.
The international symposium is being organized by the UNESCO office in Kathmandu and the Nepal chapter of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), with the support of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) and the Department of Archeology (DoA).
The five-day symposium will take place from November 25 to 29 in the four monument zones of Kathmandu Valley. The venue will be Patan Durbar Square on November26, Pashupati on the 27th, Bhaktapur on the 28th and Hanuman Dhoka on the 29th. During the workshop, 45 experts from 22 countries will sit together to discuss how to maintain the delicate balance between conserving what represents the intrinsic character and value of the historic cities and allowing for the change that is required for development.
According to DoA, there will be 110 representatives at the international symposium and they will be divided in four groups. Although the four groups will work together, their objectives and methods will be different for each group. Every day of the symposium will be devoted to a specific theme, namely authenticity, community, management and disaster risk management, and there will be site visits and poster presentations in the evenings.
‚ÄúThe whole event will focus on safeguarding world heritage property. Similarly, it will also help to create awareness among people about the importance of the cultural sites in their community,‚ÄĚ said Shaubhagya Pradhananga, chief archaeological officer at the Monuments Section of DoA. ‚ÄúThis event will surely sort out the problems of the monument zones and provide further ideas on conservation along with development plans," he said, adding,"At present, it is very difficult for us to carry out any developmental work in the monument zones.‚ÄĚ
The symposium inaugural ceremony will take place on November 25 at Patan Museum in Lalitpur.
‚ÄúThe new concept of heritage covers more than just monuments. It includes complex urban spaces where people live, work, worship and celebrate festivals. As values and aspirations of society change, the approach to urban conservation must adapt and respond to this change‚ÄĚ, said Axel Plathe, UNESCO representative to Nepal, in a press release issued from the UNESCO office here.
According to DoA Director General Bhesh Narayan Dahal, the international symposium will be very beneficial for the preservation of monument zones not only in Kathmandu Valley but around the country. It will also provide DoA a report on the present condition of the four monument zones and reliable developmental plans for them.
‚ÄúMost importantly, it will create awareness among the public, as until and unless there is aware nothing is going to change or develop,‚ÄĚ said Dahal.