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UNESCO abandons its plan to restore two Kathmandu temples

By Our Reporter
UNESCO has withdrawn its project to rebuild two temples, Jagannath and Shree Krishna Mahavishnu (Gopinath) Temples, both damaged by the 2015 earthquake at Hanumandhoka Durbar Square World Heritage Site.
UNESCO took the decision owing to disputes among the locals.
Issuing a press statement, UNESCO informed that it was compelled to withdraw from the restoration of both the temples due to the threats made by locals.
Christian Manhart, UNESCO Representative to Nepal, said that “UNESCO was saddened to withdraw from the restoration project of these two important temples within the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site.”
On 10 December 2018, restoration work commenced on-site. However, on 23 December, the work was placed on hold, due to pressure citing the wish of some locals for the temples to be restored through local funds alone and without international assistance.
In response, UNESCO arranged a series of meetings with local community members, the Ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation, National Reconstruction Authority, the Department of Archaeology, and Member of Province 3 Parliament Rajesh Shakya, and continued work on 15 May 2019.
However, threats were made by some locals a few days later to the restoration workers on-site, prompting the UNESCO to abandon the plan.

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