Almost ten months after the deadly earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015, people are engaged in rebuilding their lives and property, and life is slowly getting back to normal. At the national museum in Chauni, Nepalese conservators are painstakingly transferring a sacred mural onto a new support. It was lifted from the the Shantipur Shrine on Swayambhu Hill, a World Heritage site. The shrine itself had to be demolished. Plans for its reconstruction are being discussed but conservators have lingering questions about how this mural will eventually be reintegrated.
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, an international team put together by ICCROM and its partners had guided the salvage of the mural painting fragments at Shantipur. The alliance between ICCROM, International Council of Museums (ICOM), International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the Smithsonian Institution had resulted in a coordinated damage assessment followed by on-site training for emergency documentation, salvage and stabilization of collections and built heritage.
Now, the ICCROM team is back in Nepal to organize a series of workshops to aid in continuing the post-earthquake recovery of cultural heritage. Thanks to the generous support of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, ICCROM together with the Nepalese Department of Archaeology, the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu, Ritsumeikan University and ICOMOS Nepal will organize four focused workshops from 21-26 February. Ninety cultural heritage professionals from Nepal already engaged in a variety of cultural recovery projects are expected to participate.
The four workshops are aimed at enhancing the capacity of staff at the Department of Archaeology and other key relevant agencies to develop a systematic methodology for making decisions on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of earthquake damaged monuments, sites and collections. At the same time, the workshops will promote coordination among varied actors and stakeholders engaged in the recovery of cultural sites and historic settlements.