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Resilience within the Rubble

Saptabidhanottar, puja and prayer ceremony held to reanimate the site once post-earthquake work had been completed in December 2016

Reconstructing the Kasthamandap and Kathmandu’s past after the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake. 

The 2015 earthquake that struck Nepal not only caused human devastation, but was also a cultural catastrophe. It damaged and destroyed much of Nepal’s unique cultural heritage, including monuments within the UNESCO Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site. 

In 2015, a Durham University-led team, in partnership with UNESCO and the Government of Nepal’s Department of Archaeology, undertook a season of post-disaster archaeological assessment of earthquake damaged monuments within the UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the nationally important and symbolic Kasthamandap. They returned to complete their work on the site in November and December 2016 with the support of the National Geographic Society and a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Global Challenges Research Fund. 

This online exhibition highlights the challenges faced during the process of rebuilding World Heritage Sites in post-disaster situations and the tensions raised by the obligation to ensure that the heritage that survived the earthquake is not itself irreversibly damaged.