June 27, 2018
Kathmandu – Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and the U.S. Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires Peter Malnak jointly inaugurated the recently restored Gaddi Baithak and four other monuments in Kathmandu Durbar Square. The U.S. government’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation(AFCP) awarded a $700,000 grant, and worked in partnership with Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief and the Government of Nepal’s Department of Archeology (DOA), to fully-restore and seismically strengthen the historic Gaddi Baithak, which was heavily damaged in the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.
“This collaborative effort between Nepali and American cultural heritage experts presented an opportunity to restore and seismically strengthen Gaddi Baithak, one of the most important structures of Nepal’s cultural heritage and history. This real result was made possible by our governments and communities working together collaboratively,” said Malnak. “The restoration of Gaddi Baithak successfully shows that restoring these types of buildings in the Kathmandu Valley is both possible and cost-effective.”
While restoring this heritage site, engineers specializing in earthquake resilience teamed up with architects experienced with cultural heritage preservation and restoration. Together they designed and oversaw the restoration of the building, including targeted structural interventions to improve the building’s seismic strengthening without compromising its architectural integrity. These efforts also used local craftspeople and traditional building materials and techniques, to ensure Gaddi Baithak is now more resilient to earthquakes and will be preserved for future generations.
Prime Minister Oli and Chargé d’Affaires Malnak also inaugurated the 17th /18th century Mahadev, Kageshwor, Laxmi Narayan and Saraswati Temples in Kathmandu Durbar Square. Through the AFCP’s post-earthquake emergency grant of $200,000, Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT) restored and seismically strengthened these Newari style architectural monuments.
The Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation provides direct grant support for the preservation of cultural heritage sites in countries worldwide. AFCP is the U.S. Government’s most significant cultural preservation initiative abroad and since 2001, it has supported over 850 projects to preserve cultural heritage in more than 125 countries. In Nepal, over the past two decades, 22 projects were completed totaling over $3.4 million.
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