The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has withdrawn its support from the reconstruction works of Nepal heritage sites – Gopinath Temple and Jagannath Temple at Kathmandu’s Hanumandhoka Durbar Square.
The global authority announced its decision through a press release on 09 July, 2019, stating that it made the decision following threats from some local groups.
The local groups argued that the temples should be constructed through local funds rather than international funds
According to the UNESCO press release, the UN agency said that it is saddened to withdraw from the restoration project of the two temples.
“UNESCO is saddened to withdraw from the restoration project of these two important temples within the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site. This was part of the wider program for assisting the Nepalese government in carrying out the post-earthquake rehabilitation of its built heritage in accordance with international conservation standards,” said Christian Manhart UNESCO Representative in the UN press release.
UNESCO was working on the project in close collaboration with the Japanese Government, Nepal Department of Archeology and Nepal Investment Bank Limited, which was funding the project.
Speaking about the reconstruction of both the temples UNESCO said, “The retrofitting of these temples is of a complex technical nature, as only parts of the buildings are damaged.”
“UNESCO’s design intended to conserve the original structure and elements, as well as strengthen both buildings to make them resilient to future earthquakes,” the UN body said.
The UN authority handed all project related documentation to the Department of Archeology to complete the project in accordance with international standards for World Heritage Sites.
UNESCO Stays Decision on Listing Kathmandu as World Heritage in Danger
Meanwhile, the Department of Archeology has managed to convince UNESCO on not listing Kathmandu under World Heritage in Danger.
The international authority has given the government one year for improvement.